MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Jeff Samardzija pitched two shutout innings before an overflow crowd in the Chicago Cubs’ opener at their new stadium, a 5-2 loss to an Arizona Diamondbacks split-squad on Thursday.
The crowd of 14,486 at the new stadium at Riverview Park set a Cactus League record.
Samardzija, the Cubs’ No. 1 starter last season, allowed a walk and a single to start the game, but then got Paul Goldschmidt to fly out. He then struck out Aaron Hill and Eric Chavez to end the first inning.
Samardzija allowed a single to Miguel Montero in the second inning.
Martin Prado had two singles and a run-scoring double for Arizona. Eric Chavez followed Prado’s double with a two-run homer in the fifth.
Cubs reliever Jose Veras gave up two runs in the sixth.