Jackson sticks to fastball vs. Indians; Bryant homers
Right-hander allows three runs, including two-run homer, over three innings
MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs starter Edwin Jackson wasn't worried about results on Friday but wanted to work on his fastball, so that's all he threw against the Indians.
Mike Aviles smacked a two-run homer and Yan Gomes hit a tie-breaking RBI double to lead the Cleveland to a 7-2 victory over Chicago's split squad in front of 13,440 at Cubs Park.
Carlos Carrasco, competing for the one opening in the Indians' rotation, struck out six over three innings and gave up three hits, including Kris Bryant's second spring home run. Bryant, the second overall pick in last year's First-Year Player Draft, and top prospect Javier Baez lead the Cubs with two home runs each, and Baez nearly had his third in the second inning, but fell a little short.
Carrasco, who wasn't as limiting as Jackson in terms of pitch selection, and Corey Kluber combined to strike out 11 batters in the first six innings.
"I feel good," Carrasco said. "It was my first three-inning [start]. Sometimes I got behind a little bit in the count, but I just attacked. I didn't walk anybody. A couple guys were 3-2, one for a strikeout and the other one for a groundball. My slider is working good, and my curveball and fastball. I threw a couple changeups."
"He let [Bryant] get his arms extended on that ball out to right, but other than that, man, our guys pounded the zone the whole day," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Nyjer Morgan singled to lead off the game for the Indians, and Aviles followed with his first spring home run off a 2-0 pitch from Jackson to take a 2-0 lead.
"It's just one of those situations where you've got a good pitcher on the mound, and you kind of want to put some runs on the board," Aviles said. "Even though it's Spring Training, you don't want him to settle in and make you feel foolish. I was just fortunate to get a ball up and put a good piece on it."
Ryan Sweeney reached on a fielding error by left fielder Jeff Francoeur to open the Chicago second, stole second and reached third on an error by catcher Gomes before scoring on Bryant's home run. Cleveland's Ryan Raburn crashed face-first into the right-field wall chasing the homer and stayed in the game, but was lifted for pinch-hitter in the third. Raburn sustained a left knee contusion during his collision.
"Ray hit that wall pretty hard," Francona said. "He's OK. He cut his lip and he banged his knee, but he went back and got looked at. He's fine. He's just got a contusion. We'll check him in the morning."
With one out in the Cleveland third, Jackson hit Aviles, who scored one out later on Gomes' double. Jackson departed after three innings, giving up three runs on four hits.
"I wanted to see where I was locating the fastball," Jackson said of his game plan. "The times I got hurt was just up in the zone, whether it was timing, hands coming up late, whatever it was, it was balls up in the zone. I definitely came out with a plan to throw all fastballs today."
The right-hander didn't tell Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio about what he wanted to do.
"My last game, I threw a lot of changeups and a couple sliders and curveballs," Jackson said. "This game was just to see how it would be to just throw fastballs in every situation, every count, work on locating them. It's that time in Spring Training when you have that luxury to go out and do so. I felt all right overall. I just have to work the ball down in the zone a little better."
What will he do in his next outing?
"Next week, it could be something different," Jackson said.
Carlos Villanueva, whom the Cubs used both as a starter and in relief last season, gave up one run on two hits over 2 2/3 innings.
The Indians opened it up later with three runs in the ninth against reliever Blake Parker.
Up next: Jason Hammel will make his first Cactus League start on Saturday when the Cubs travel to Goodyear to face the Reds. Hammel's only spring outing was in a "B" game last Monday. Emilio Bonifacio will lead off and start at shortstop for the Cubs with one of the top prospects, Jorge Soler, the designated hitter. The game will be broadcast at 2:05 p.m. CT via a free, exclusive cubs.com audio webcast.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.