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Monday, March 19, 2012
Cubs 12, Mariners 7

By Doug Padilla

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs took a huge early lead Monday, watched it disappear and then erupted again in a 12-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The good: In only three entire games this spring had the Cubs scored more than they did in the first inning Monday. They sent 12 batters to the plate, knocking out Mariners starter Jason Vargas before their outburst was over. Darwin Barney had two hits in the inning after returning from a weekend off because of a strain in his left side.

The bad: Travis Wood said after his last outing that it was time to get it going. It didn’t happen. After back-to-back home runs in the third inning the Mariners had matched the Cubs’ seven-run first inning. Wood’s seven earned runs Monday gave him 14 allowed (13 earned) in three spring outings. He also gave up six runs in an intrasquad game not counted in that total.

Outside the box: Jay Jackson's solid spring continued with four scoreless innings in relief of Wood. The right-hander, who spent the last two full seasons at Triple-A Iowa, has given up just one earned run in three Cactus League outings and one intrasquad appearance. He remains alive for possibly a long-man spot in the bullpen and his chances only increase if Jeff Samardzija earns a spot in the rotation.

Up next: In Mesa, Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster (1-1, 4.15) will face off against Rangers right-hander Neftali Feliz (0-1, 7.20). In Phoenix, Cubs right-hander Rodrigo Lopez (0-0, 2.57) will face off against A’s right-hander Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 4.70). Both games Tuesday are set for a 3 p.m. CST start.