1:07 AM ET
MESA, Ariz. — Chicago Cubs pitcher Cole Hamels had a fun few days of firsts. Over the weekend, he recorded his first hole-in-one on a golf course, and on Monday, he hit a home run in his final spring training tune-up.
Hamels has another first coming up when he faces the Texas Rangers in his first start of the regular season. It’ll be the first time the left-hander has pitched against a former team.
Although Cubs manager Joe Maddon has not officially announced the rotation order, it is now lined up with Jon Lester starting Thursday on Opening Day against the Rangers, followed by Yu Darvish, Hamels, Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana.
“It’s finally that time. I feel healthy, strong,” Hamels said. “Now it’s go time, get in front of the big crowds and big stadiums, and everything starts to matter.”
Monday night was Hamels’ fifth spring start. He faced the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox and served up Andrew Benintendi‘s home run with one out in the third, but he led off the Cubs’ half with a homer to tie the game. He has hit two home runs in