Wood's arm, Sweeney's bat lead Cubs over Sox
MESA, Ariz. – Travis Wood pitched three scoreless innings, Ryan Sweeney homered and the Cubs beat the White Sox, 4-3, on Thursday.
Wood gave up two hits, striking out four with one walk.
Expectations might be different after coming off his first All-Star season, but Wood didn't change anything about his routine.
"I kept the same approach (during the offseason) as the year," said Wood, who went 9-11 with a 3.11 ERA last year. "It kind of worked for me last year and I didn't want to change anything."
Sweeney began the day hitting .119 with two RBIs in exhibition play. He homered off Felipe Paulino to start the second inning.
Paulino went four innings, allowing three runs and five hits. He will start the second game of the season for the White Sox.
Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo hit back-to-back home runs, the first of the spring for both of them, off Wesley Wright in the White Sox ninth.
The crowd of 15,170 pushed the spring total to 213,815 at Cubs Park for a single-season Cactus League record. In their first season at the ballpark, the Cubs broke the mark of 203,105 they set at HoHoKam Stadium in 2009.
White Sox: Paulino makes his first opening-day roster since 2012 with the Royals after having Tommy John surgery.
"I am really, really blessed," he said. "The last year and half I've just been working on my rehab. It's a lot of hard work paying off."
Cubs: Wood, the No. 2 starter, had an efficient outing to end the spring with a 4.63 ERA.
"The shape of the pitches were what I wanted them to be and it was all around good ball game," he said.
White Sox: Dunn was a late scratch from the lineup as designated hitter due an illness (upset stomach). Dunn later entered the game as pinch hitter and connected for his first home run of the spring in his second at-bat of the day.
Cubs: After another day of performing well in a minor league game, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and his hamstring have been cleared to return to a big league game. He is expected to start at least one, if not both, of the team's games at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks to end the spring.
"I've got to be ready," said Castro, who hasn't played since the second Cactus League game of the season. "No more time. No more minor leagues. I bat every time — four every day, five at-bats every day. No more minor leagues. The show is coming."
Third baseman Mike Olt and outfielder Ryan Kalish were told they made the big league club to fill out the position players portion of the roster.
Kalish missed much of 2012 with Boston while recovering from surgery on his left shoulder, then had right shoulder surgery in January 2013 and missed the entire season. He had cervical fusion surgery in August, and then became a free agent in December when the Red Sox failed to offer him a 2014 contract.
"This is a really awesome day for myself and everyone that has seen what I've gone through," he said. "My family is just ecstatic."
Olt, acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza trade on July 22, struggled with his vision last year and hit .197 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs at Triple-A Round Rock and Iowa. He was hit on the head with a pitch in the Dominican Winter League.