Zambrano shows rust in return to mound

Carlos Zambrano was back on a pitching mound Sunday and looked like someone who hasn’t pitched competitively in a couple of months.

The Cubs right-hander gave up two runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings for Carbies of the Venezuelan Winter League in a 5-4 loss to Magallanes. One of the hits off Zambrano was a homer by Cubs teammate Bryan LaHair.

Zambrano had not pitched in a game since Aug. 12 in Atlanta when he was ejected for throwing at Chipper Jones. He cleaned out his locker and said he was retiring, only to recant. The Cubs, though, placed him on the disqualified list.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has said that Zambrano likely won’t pitch for the Cubs again, but he has one year and $18 million remaining on his contract. New Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has said that he will reserve judgment on Zambrano until the two speak, which is supposed to happen this week.

Zambrano faced 14 batters Sunday and threw 60 pitches. He also committed a throwing error and hit a batter.