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Sunday, March 2, 2014
Big crowd sees Baez hit, Castro hurt

By Jesse Rogers

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs dropped to 0-3 in Cactus League play but set another attendance record as 14,680 saw them lose 5-3 to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

The good: Javier Baez ripped two hits, one a double to right center, the other a single to left. Both balls jumped off his bat after vicious swings. Justin Ruggiano also had two hits and drove in a run. Reliever Armando Rivero struck out two in his one inning of work.

The bad: The results were bad but Edwin Jackson and Carlos Villanueva got through their two innings of work without any health issues at least. Jackson was hit hard, and both pitchers gave up a home run to Mike Moustakas. Jackson gave up only that lone run but did hit a batter as well.

"It gave me something to work off of," he said afterward. "Ball was up a little towards the end. [I was] flying open. [I have to] continue to work down."

Castro hurt: After being hit by a pitch, Starlin Castro injured his right hamstring on a slide into second base on a steal attempt. He left the game for treatment but says he should be OK after a few days off. He injured his left hamstring last season -- missing two weeks -- but he doesn’t think this is as serious.

Saturday’s rainouts: Before the game, manager Rick Renteria lamented the fact that the field at Cubs Park on Saturday wasn’t playable due to a downpour about half an hour before the game. The grass behind where the shortstop and second baseman play got waterlogged as the grounds crew pulled the tarp off the field.

What’s next: The Cubs will host a “B” game at Cubs Park on Monday against the San Francisco Giants to help make up for the lost innings after the Cubs were also rained out Saturday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jason Hammel will start that game, while Eric Jokisch will pitch in the regular road game against the Milwaukee Brewers Monday afternoon. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday against the Oakland A's.