Jeff Samardzija to start opener

Updated: March 14, 2014, 3:13 PM ET
By Jesse Rogers | ESPNChicago.com

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija was named the starter for the team's March 31 opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates, manager Rick Renteria announced Friday.

"Jeff has done it before," Renteria said. "He's put in a very strong year, as [Travis] Wood did. The decision was quite easy for all of us."

Samardzija was the Opening Day starter last season and beat the Pirates 3-1, throwing eight shutout innings. But Wood had the better year and ...

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