MESA, Ariz. (AP) -Ryan Dempster is trying to make the transition from closer to starting pitcher.
So far, so good.
After a 32-pitch first inning, Dempster rebounded to work three innings in the Chicago Cubs' 10-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday.
Gabe Gross hit a solo home run leading off the top of the 10th against Cubs reliever Jose Ascanio (0-1). Milwaukee went on to score three more times, making a winner of reliever Steve Bray.
Dempster was the first Chicago pitcher to go three innings this spring, as was Claudio Vargas for the Brewers.
``I kind of got away from game plan a little bit in the first,'' Dempster said. ``I just settled down after that, got some good work in and attacked the strike zone again. It's a good day's work.''
Dempster began his career as a starter with the Florida Marlins in 1998. He underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in 2003 while with Cincinnati. The Cubs converted him to a closer in 2005. Now, Dempster is looking to return to the rotation.
``I just try and make pitches and get outs and keep the at-bats short,'' he said. ``After that inning, it seemed like I had three or four pitches at most to every hitter. That's ultimately what you're trying to do, get quick outs. By doing that. I allowed myself to throw three innings today rather than two or a little less than three.''
The Brewers scored once in the first against Dempster. Mike Cameron doubled with one out. After J.J. Hardy popped out, Dempster hit Ryan Braun with a pitch. Bill Hall walked, and a walk to Brad Nelson forced home a run.
The Cubs scored three times in the third against Vargas. Kosuke Fukudome (3-for-3) homered with one out. It was Fukudome's first home run and extra-base hit this spring.
After Derrek Lee walked and Tyler Colvin singled, Geovany Soto doubled home both runners.
``All my pitches were working good,'' Vargas said. ``It's still early, and sometimes we miss pitches, like today. There are a lot of games in spring training to work on things.''
Cameron was 2-for-3 with 3 runs scored for Milwaukee. Tony Gwynn was 2-for-5, including a fourth-inning two-run homer off Sean Gallagher. Cameron also homered against Gallagher.
Notes: The Cubs say left fielder Alfonso Soriano will be out close to a week with a broken right middle finger. Soriano injured the finger Sunday during flyball drills. Originally, the Cubs said they hoped Soriano would be out 3-5 days ... Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez is expected to make his Cactus League debut Thursday against Oakland. Ramirez had not played yet because of a sore right shoulder. He has been able to take batting practice. Ramirez also has fielded groundballs, but he has not thrown.

Recent MLB Discussions

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail World Baseball Classic Final Prediction Will the USA knock off Puerto Rico tonight in the World Baseball Classic Championship at 9:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Indians Win-Total Prediction After falling just shy of the World Series in 2016, can the Cleveland Indians follow it up with a better year...
Thumbnail USA vs. Japan WBC Prediction Tanner Roark’s first World Baseball Classic outing didn’t go particularly well. If Team USA wants to advance to the championship game, though, it needs the Washington...
Thumbnail Reds Win Total Prediction Is there any reason to have some optimism about the Cincinnati Reds for the 2017 season? Here’s our breakdown on their season.
Thumbnail Red Sox Win Total Prediction With a stacked rotation, will the Boston Red Sox be able to surge to the top of the MLB standings in the 2017 season?

MLB Team Pages