Cubs’ pitching holds Rockies scoreless

The Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs, unbeaten in spring training thanks to heavy hitting, added stingy pitching to their repertoire yesterday.

Five Chicago pitchers, paced by starter Frank Castillo, held the Colorado Rockies to four hits in an 8-0 rout before 4,242 fans at Hi Corbett Field.

Castillo (2-0) retired all nine batters he faced, including three straight on strikeouts. Castillo has pitched six scoreless innings this spring, allowing just one hit with four strikeouts and no walks, helping the Cubs run their record to 5-0.

Rey Sanchez went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI and also contributed two superb fielding plays. Howard Johnson, who played for the Rockies last season, was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

In their last three games, Chicago has scored 41 runs and have hit .413.

‘‘That’s better than the ’27 Yankees,’’ manager Jim Riggleman said. ‘‘You can’t expect us to keep up that pace.’’

After Castillo, Terry Adams, Tom Edens, Larry Casian and Mike Perez kept the Rockies (3-2) in check.

‘‘This spring I’ve gone after the hitters,’’ Castillo said. ‘‘I’m hitting my spots and I’m keeping the ball down. The last couple of years I’ve gotten the ball up in certain situations and gotten hurt. I developed a cut fastball in winter ball that’s helped me.’’

Colorado starter Bill Swift (0-1), who will be the opening-day starter, pitched three innings, allowing two runs on four hits.

‘‘I was throwing my changeup too hard,’’ Swift said. ‘‘The worst thing I did was give (Rick) Wilkins a changeup on a 3-2 count in the first. The next time out I’ll go four or five innings and be ready for the opener.’’

David Nied, seeing his first action of the spring after being sidelined with a tender elbow, gave up three runs on five hits in two innings of work. Kevin Ritz, bidding for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, was the most effective Rockies’ pitcher, yielding one run and one hit in three innings.

‘‘Ritz pitched three strong innings and had good velocity,’’ Rockies manager Don Baylor said. ‘‘Overall, we were real flat today. We didn’t hit and we didn’t execute. We couldn’t get Howard Johnson or Sanchez out.’’

Sanchez singled in the first inning and scored on Wilkins’ triple. Johnson then hit an RBI single. Johnson led off the fourth with a double and scored on Matt Franco’s ground out. Johnson and Jose Hernandez had RBI singles in the fifth. Sanchez doubled in another run in the sixth.

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