MESA, Ariz. Carlos Zambrano pitched six shutout innings, Alfonso Soriano homered and the Chicago Cubs beat a Los Angeles Angels split squad 4-1 on Sunday.
Zambrano gave up only one hit, a one-out windblown triple to right-center in the sixth inning by Sean Rodriguez.
"I'm ready, I'm ready to go," said Zambrano, who is scheduled to pitch the March 31 season opener against the Milwaukee Brewers in Chicago. "I'm way ahead compared to where I was last year, and I'm looking forward to doing my job this year. Five years in Chicago makes you feel better."
Zambrano (1-0) was referring to the $91.5 million, five-year contract extension he signed last August. He was 18-13 with a 3.95 ERA last year.
"We've talked about him; he's had a real nice spring," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella.
Mike Fontenot, fighting to make the Cubs as a backup infielder, homered in the second off Angels starter Nick Green.
BECKETT WON'T GO TO JAPAN: Josh Beckett will stay behind when the Red Sox fly 7,500 miles to Tokyo on Wednesday, even though he threw a ball 75 feet without back pain on Sunday. Boston manager Terry Francona made official what had been obvious for several days: his ace right-hander won't travel to Japan, where he probably would have started the Red Sox regular season opener against the Oakland Athletics.
VALDEZ IMPRESSING: At Scottsdale, Ariz., Merkin Valdez's comeback bid from elbow surgery for San Francisco is generating lots of interest from other teams eager to acquire him. He's staying put. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the right-hander is set to earn a roster spot for opening day as one of the Giants' 12 pitchers. He is out of options and San Francisco isn't about to let him get away now the club has invested plenty in the 26-year-old Dominican's health and future, and he's pitching like his old self again.
LEYRITZ VISITS YANKEES: At Tampa, Fla., former Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz, facing DUI manslaughter charges, visited former teammates Sunday before the game with Cleveland. Leyritz spent one hour, 40 minutes in the Yankees' clubhouse. He didn't stop to talk with reporters as he left Legends Field. "He just wanted to say 'Hi' to old friends," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "He was in the area. He's going through a very difficult situation." Leyritz talked with Girardi and several players, including Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi. Leyritz pleaded not guilty last month to a charge of DUI manslaughter by unlawful blood-alcohol levels. Police said Leyritz drove his sport utility vehicle through a red light Dec. 28 in Fort Lauderdale and crashed into another vehicle.
PONSON GUARDED: At Phoenix, despite a messy outing, Sidney Ponson figured he accomplished something Sunday. "The numbers are no good but I got my work in game situation-wise," said Ponson, who is trying to win a job with the Texas Rangers. "I couldn't throw strikes with anything. I'm not happy, but I am happy, too."
SNELL GETS 3-YEAR DEAL: Ian Snell and the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed Sunday to three-year contract worth at least $8 million, a deal reached five days after the Pirates had unilaterally renewed the pitcher for 2008. Snell would have been eligible for salary arbitration after next season. The agreement includes team options for 2011 and 2012.