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Spring Game #3: Barry Zito's fastball around 87 mph in spring debut as Oakland A's tie Cubs

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The Athletics remain undefeated after three Cactus League games.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs and Athletics played to a 2-2 tie Thursday afternoon from Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. For the Cubs, the offense came in the second inning when Mike Olt hit a two-run home run off Barry ZIto. The Athletics scored in the late-going, scoring a run on a Luke Carlin single in the seventh, and the other run on a Rangel Ravelo double in the eighth.

Pitching

Barry Zito started for the A's, with scouts telling Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that Zito's fastball was sitting in the high 80s:

Zito pitches two innings and looked sharp, with his biting hook bringing back memories of knee-buckle after knee-buckle. He retired the first five batters successfully, but hit Chris Coghlan. The next batter, Mike Olt, smacked a 2-2 mistake changeup over the wall, to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

Pat Venditte got to face switch-hitter Dexter Fowler, which prompted Joe Maddon to walk out and remind Fowler that the rule for facing a switch-pitcher is that the pitcher declares which hand he is going to throw with first, and then the batter takes his position in whichever box he likes.

Tyler Clippard and Fernando Abad also got an inning each today. Clippard allowed two base runners but escaped the fourth inning with no damage.

Abad worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning, inducing three ground balls.

Hitting

Coco Crisp made his debut in left field today, at one point calling off center fielder Craig Gentry on a fly ball to left-center.

The A's were held to two hits and two walks in the first six innings. Ben Zobrist doubled in the fourth off Drake Britton, and Brett Lawrie singled off Gonzalez Germen.

Coming up

The A's go to 2-0-1, and the Cubs are 0-0-1 for now, pending the end of their other game today against the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale. The A's will visit the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt Rivers Fields in Scottsdale on Friday.