Baseball notes: Two pitchers bat in No. 8 spot

Associated Press
For the first time since 2008, both teams batted starting pitchers in the eight spot

For the first time since 2008, both teams batted their starting pitcher in the eighth spot Friday when the Colorado Rockies played host to the Chicago Cubs in their home opener.

Cubs left-hander Travis Wood batted ahead of second baseman and No. 9 hitter Arismendy Alcantara and Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek batted ahead of second baseman D.J. LeMahieu.

This marked the first game that both starting pitchers batted eighth since St. Louis' Joel Pineiro and Pittsburgh's Ian Snell did it July 13, 2008, according to STATS.

Wood, who has hit three home runs in each of the last two seasons, went 0 for 2. Matzek was one for one, a double.

Batting the pitcher ninth used to be one of the axioms of baseball. Even when Don Newcombe hit .359 with seven home runs and won 20 games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955, he always batted last.

"I just think it's one of those things that's always been done in a certain way so people think that your pitcher is supposed to hit ninth," Cubs Manager Joe Maddon said.

Etc.

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland pitched only one inning in the home opener Friday, and now will be out at least six weeks with a shoulder problem. ... The Cubs put reliever Justin Grimm on the 15-day disabled list because of inflammation in his right forearm. Right-hander Brian Schlitter was recalled from triple-A Iowa. ... Minnesota Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco is headed to the 15-day disabled list because of inflammation in his pitching elbow. Trevor May will be called up from triple-A Rochester and start Monday's home opener against Kansas City.

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