GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Ted Lilly is hoping to start this year the way he finished last season.
Lilly had a smooth second outing after struggling in his spring debut and Tony Gwynn Jr. had a two-run single to cap the Los Angeles Dodgers' four-run second inning in a 5-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
After struggling to a 4.79 ERA in the first half last season, Lilly had a 2.96 ERA after the All-Star break. He also gave up just nine homers in the second half after giving up 19 before the break.
``I take great pride in answering the bell every five days,' he said. ``But I put the club in to some pretty tough spots. ... I don't want to come into spring and be so far behind, which is where I have been the last couple of years.'
Lilly bounced back after giving up five runs and six hits against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.
``Yeah, I was better,' Lilly said after limiting the Cubs to one hit and one walk, and hit a batter in three innings. ``I kind of approached it like a regular-season game. I used most of my pitches, expect not much of my slider.'
The Dodgers also took advantage of Matt Garza's wildness in the second inning. Jerry Sands began the inning with a single, Garza then hit Juan Uribe with a pitch and Trent Oeltjen's single to left loaded the bases. Two walks allowed Sands and Uribe to score, and Gwynn followed with a two-run single.
``I got myself in trouble more than anything,' Garza said. ``Just a bad day. I'll get ready for the next one.'
Garza gave up four runs and three hits, walked two and hit a batter in 1 1-3 innings. The Cubs were shut out for the first time this spring and had only one hit through the first five innings.
Oeltjen had two hits and scored two runs for Los Angeles.
NOTES: The Cubs signed 20-year-old Cuban LHP Gerardo Concepcion to a five-year contract worth a reported $6 million, which includes a $3 million signing bonus. Concepcion went 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA as a rookie for the Industriales last season in Cuba. He is scheduled to report to the minor-league camp. ... Dodgers RF Andre Ethier, suffering from stiffness in his back, wasn't in the lineup Sunday. He had a scheduled day off, Dodgers manager Mattingly said. Ethier played catch and took batting practice. He was scratched from a split-squad game Saturday against the Seattle Mariners in Peoria, Ariz. He will be re-evaluated Monday. ... Dodgers CF Matt Kemp, runner-up for National League MVP last season, also skipped Sunday's game. . RHP Aaron Harang is scheduled to start for Los Angeles Monday in Tempe against the Angels, who plan to counter with RHP Jered Weaver. .The Cubs are back at home against Cincinnati on Monday. LHP Paul Maholm is scheduled to start against Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo.
The Associated Press News Service
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