Alex Cintron hit in face by foul ball in Cubs’ 6-5 loss to Angels

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MESA, Ariz. (AP)—Ryan Dempster would like to ignore his most recent outing when it comes to evaluating his spring.

Dempster failed to make it out of the second inning in Chicago’s 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

After three years as the Cubs’ closer, Dempster is trying to move into the starting rotation. He gave up six runs—five earned—in the second after needing just six pitches to get out of the first.

“I got a couple pitches up and paid for it,” Dempster said. “It feels more like a wasted day than anything. You don’t extend yourself. It wasn’t my best work. You’re going to have times like those, but I don’t think it’s indicative of the way I’ve been throwing the ball.”

Chicago non-roster invitee Alex Cintron was hit on the right side of his face by a foul ball off the bat of teammate Mark DeRosa. Cintron, a shortstop, was standing in the on-deck circle when he was hit below the nose on his right cheek.

Cintron was able to walk off the field under his own power, and did not lose consciousness, a Cubs spokesman said. The Cubs said there was no damage to his eye and that he was to be taken to a hospital for X-rays.

“It cut him; it was scary,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “He got lucky that it wasn’t under the cheekbone under the eye.”

Cintron, signed a minor league contract last month, has a shot at making the club as a backup infielder.

Angels starter Ervin Santana worked five innings, his longest outing of the spring, and allowed five hits and four runs. He walked one and struck out five.

Kerry Wood worked a 1-2-3 fifth for the Cubs. He is competing with Bob Howry and Carlos Marmol for the Cubs’ closer job. ^@Notes: Cubs’ Derrek Lee, who came into the game batting .107, went 2-for-4. … Jon Lieber, who should be the Cubs’ No. 3 starter, worked four innings of relief, giving up two hits and no runs while walking one and striking out three.

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