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Thursday, February 27, 2014
Thursday's lineup: Cactus League opener

By Jesse Rogers

MESA, Ariz. -- The first of 34 games for the Chicago Cubs in 29 days begins at 2 p.m. CT Thursday when they kick off Cactus League play at their new spring park against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Jeff Samardzija will be on the mound for the Cubs with Bronson Arroyo pitching for the Diamondbacks. Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith are set to throw the first pitches in front of what is expected to be a sellout crowd at the new stadium that accompanies the Cubs' practice facilities which were built in 15 months at a cost of $99 million.

Here's the first lineup of the spring:

1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B
2. Luis Valbuena, 3B
3. Starlin Castro, SS
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Junior Lake, CF
6. Welington Castillo, C
7. Justin Ruggiano, LF
8. Mike Olt, DH
9. Darnell McDonald, RF