Randy Wells is waiting to hear if he has won a spot in the Chicago Cubs' rotation.
This effort could help expedite that decision.
Wells retired 18 straight batters, Marlon Byrd reached base three times and the Chicago Cubs beat a San Francisco Giants split squad, 3-2, in 10 innings Sunday in Mesa, Ariz.
Wells cruised through six innings after giving up singles to the first two batters of the game, with Emmanuel Burriss stealing second and scoring on Mike Fontenot’s single. Wells struck out seven against a lineup that featured Pablo Sandoval, Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand, and didn’t walk a batter.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander has a 1.35 ERA in 20 spring innings after going 8-14 with a 4.26 ERA in 32 starts for the Cubs in 2010.
“Confidence is a huge thing,” he said. “I lost it last year and it is a tough thing to overcome. If you don’t have confidence, even if your stuff is working, it is hard to get people out.
METS OWNERS BATTLE LINK TO MADOFF
The New York Mets have filed legal papers disputing a court trustee’s claim that they owe more than $1 billion because they should have known that their investments with Bernard Madoff were fraudulent.
In papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Mets co-owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz and their investment fund, Sterling Equities, allege trustee Irving Picard made “false allegations” and omitted evidence favorable to the owners in order to force a settlement.
“The central allegations in the complaint are directly contradicted by sworn testimony taken by the Trustee’s counsel prior to the filing of the complaint,” Mets general counsel David Cohen said in a statement.
On Friday, Picard filed papers he said showed the cozy relationship between Madoff and the Mets owners. He said the owners ignored warnings that Madoff’s high returns might not be real.
BONDS TRIAL TO START TODAY
Barry Bonds’ federal perjury trial begins this morning in San Francisco with jury selection.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, who has handled an enormous variety of legal issues, will be in charge.
The case has dragged on since 2003, when the first of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) doping cases were assigned to her courtroom, through his indictment in 2007 for allegedly lying to the grand jury looking into the BALCO case.
The Chicago White Sox have selected left-hander Matt Thornton as their closer, tabbing the Seattle Mariners castoff as their replacement for departed free agent Bobby Jenks. Thornton, who signed a two-year, $12 million extension this month, saved eight games in 2010, posting a 2.67 ERA in 61 appearances.
Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta wore a smile after Everett’s Grady Sizemore played for the first time since having June microfracture surgery in a 5-3 win over an Arizona Diamondbacks split squad. Sizemore, serving as the designated hitter, grounded out to second base and popped out to center against right-hander Armando Galarraga. “It was great to see him out there,” Acta said.
Asdrubal Cabrera left Cleveland’s game in Goodyear, Ariz., with an apparent right leg injury. The starting shortstop missed six weeks of the 2010 season with a broken left wrist.
Right-handed reliever Pat Neshek, who was falling out of the race for a spot in the Minnesota bullpen, was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres.
Chipper Jones went 3-for-3 to raise his spring average to .420 for the Atlanta Braves. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning for the New York Yankees in an 8-1 victory over Philadelphia. Detroit’s Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings to lead the Tigers past Washington, 6-1.