MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Randy Wells hasn't been assured of anything when it comes to making the Chicago Cubs' rotation. Wells insists that even if he is declared the team's fourth starter, it wouldn't change a thing.
``I have a lot to prove,' he said after a shaky but effective outing Tuesday. ``I don't think you can ever do enough. Even if you are on that plane to Chicago to break camp you still haven't done enough. There is a big difference in getting guys out in spring training than once the season starts. I hope to just keep it rolling, stay in a groove and keep the confidence up.'
Wells gave up his first earned runs of the spring in a 4-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies before 10,246 fans at HoHoKam Stadium, but did a good job of pitching out of trouble - one of the few times he has had to pitch out of the stretch this spring.
Wells (1-1, 1.29 ERA) went five innings, allowing three runs - two earned - on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
After cruising through three innings to push his string to 12 innings without giving up an earned run, Carlos Gonzalez reached on a dribbler in front of the plate when Wells couldn't get the ball out of his glove. After going to third on Jose Lopez's single to right, Gonzalez scored on a sacrifice fly by Todd Helton.
Then in the fifth his defense had a hand in it after a walk and single put runners on first and second. The runners advanced on a double steal when Colorado catcher Chris Iannetta stole third as Cubs catcher Geovany Soto threw behind him. Hernan Iribarren advanced to second on the throw to third.
Pitcher Esmil Rogers followed with a sacrifice fly to left field with one out. Alfonso Soriano's throw to the plate was wild and allowed both runners to score.
``It is something you need to do to win ballgames,' Wells said of keeping damage limited. ``It's the major leagues and guys are going to string hits together. You have to be able to get out of the inning.'
Wells talked about how last year he had some confidence problems and that veteran catcher Koyie Hill talked to him about body language.
``It's important that you don't show the club across the field what you are working with that day,' Hill said. ``As a hitter, if a guy has given up a bunch of runs, but continues to come after you, then you know he is still going to bring it. If a guy lets you know it is getting away from him then it's a fight to get to the bat rack.
``(Wells) is focused and it is good that there is some good competition going. He has been able to repeat his performances and keep his concentration.'
Cubs second baseman Blake DeWitt, acquired last season in the Ted Lilly trade, continues to flounder in his battle with Jeff Baker, who went 1 for 2 with a walk against Oakland. DeWitt, who is hitting .176, didn't get a ball out of the infield in four at_bats and also had his third error of the spring - a throwing error to first base.
Rockies starter Esmil Rogers (1-0, 3.86 ERA) was impressive in trying to lock down the fifth spot in the rotation with Aaron Cook (shoulder tightness, ring finger) ailing.
The right-hander allowed one hit and struck out three in his five innings. The only hit was by Carlos Pena, who was thrown out by left-fielder Carlos Gonzalez at second by 15 feet trying to stretch a single into a double.
Notes: The Cubs played a split-squad game as they also had a game at Oakland as manager Mike Quade chose to go on the trip. Bench coach Pat Listach managed the game against the Rockies. ... Cubs minor league outfielder Brad Snyder was shut down after sustaining a small crack in right ribs. ... Snyder was part of the 18 players the club sent to minor league camp.
The Associated Press News Service
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