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Moyer, at 49, makes his pitch for spot in Rockies' rotation

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Associated Press
March 29, 2012
— Jamie Moyer has been hanging in there since his rookie season in 1986, and that's exactly what he did Wednesday.

Moyer threw 92 pitches over four innings, the latest step in his comeback bid, and Dexter Fowler hit a two-run homer to help the Colorado Rockies beat a Chicago White Sox split squad 8-5.


The 49-year-old Moyer, who sat out last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, gave up three runs and seven hits. He walked three and struck out four, facing 22 batters in all.


"I was around the plate most of the time," Moyer said. "They were very selective, and that made the game harder for me. But that's how the game is some days. You just have to battle out there."


The soft-tossing lefty, who is 267-204 in 24 major league seasons, has a 2.77 ERA this spring and appears to be a strong candidate for the fifth spot in Colorado's rotation. The Rockies are his eighth big league club and he is slated to start again next week in one of their final spring training games.


Colorado manager Jim Tracy said Moyer delivered a credible performance and liked ‘‘the way he hung in there and kept us in there."


Tracy said a decision on Moyer will come down to the end of the camp. The club has seven exhibition games left, and the manager wants to see how Moyer recovers after throwing 92 pitches.


"There is no question about his arm. But can he bounce back five days later? We want to answer all those questions," Tracy said.


Chicago outhit the Rockies 14-8. Paul Konerko pushed his spring average to .407 with three hits.


-- Padres 13, White Sox (ss) 2—White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked three.


Axelrod, who posted a 2.89 ERA in 18 2-3 innings with the White Sox last season, is competing with four pitchers for two bullpen spots.


Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski had a run-scoring triple and is batting .268 this spring. He likely will be the No. 2 hitter in the lineup.


"That's all I've been trying to do all spring, not do too much and put the barrel on the ball and let it go where it goes," Pierzynski said.


White Sox notes

-- John Danks will be Chicago's opening-day starter, an honor that went to Mark Buehrle for nine of the last 10 seasons. Buehrle signed with the Marlins in the offseason.


Cubs shut out Indians

-- Cubs 2, Indians 0—Jeff Samardzija knew exactly what he needed to do to get back on track after a subpar outing.


Samardzija pitched six innings of three-hit ball to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.


The right-hander had a solid season while working as a reliever in 2011, but new manager Dale Sveum told him he wanted him to make the switch to a starting spot. He pitched well in his first three starts, but gave up seven runs and seven hits against Colorado on Friday.


"I was cruising and I let it get in my head a little bit," he said Wednesday. "I came out today and made a little adjustment from the last time out. It's amazing what kind of a difference that can make."


On his new role, the 27-year-old Samardzija said: "I feel great, but I'm not going to worry about it (making the rotation)."


Samardzija also had a leadoff triple in the fifth that rolled under the glove of diving left fielder Russ Canzler. But Samardzija was stranded.


His teammates picked him up with two runs in the sixth on singles by Bryan LaHair and Joe Mather.


Samardzija takes pride in other aspects of his game.


"I've said all along that I want to be an athlete, run the bases and field my position," the ex-Notre Dame wide receiver said.


Cubs closer Carlos Marmol pitched the seventh inning in his second appearance since leaving a game on March 20 with numbness in his pitching hand. He struck out one and walked one.



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