Dodgers 6, Cubs 3

MESA, Ariz. -- On a day the Chicago Cubs rolled out their Opening Day lineup they fell 6-3 to a Los Angeles Dodgers split-squad team.

The good: Ryan Dempster rebounded from a rough start in a minor-league game and looked solid while giving up one run over 4 2/3 innings. He faced 20 batters before turning it over to left-hander James Russell, who retired the only batter he faced. Dempster’s next outing will be Thursday on Opening Day against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field.

The bad: The offense couldn’t gain much traction against the Dodgers, whose starter Fernando Nieve won’t even make the big-league roster. Ian Stewart hit a home run, his second of the spring, but the first four batters in the lineup were a combined 2-for-12. Alfonso Soriano and Steve Clevenger both drove in late runs.

Outside the box: Two of the perceived favorites for the final two bullpen spots saw action Friday. Manuel Corpas gave up three runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings. Lendy Castillo, who has never pitched above the Single-A level, gave up one run on three hits in 1 1/3 innings. Each pitcher walked a batter.

Up next: Cubs left-hander Paul Maholm (1-1, 0.90) will take the mound opposite Angels right-hander Garrett Richards (3-1, 3.77) in the 3 p.m. CST start from HoHoKam Park.