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Ex-Notre Dame star gets back to basics


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Samardzija in minors again after struggling with Cubs


Jeff Samardzija struck out the first batter he faced in his big league debut at Wrigley Field in 2008 and compiled a career-low 2.28 ERA that season for the Chicago Cubs.


But the former Notre Dame football star has struggled with Chicago since then.


The 6-foot-5-inch right-hander went 1-3 with a 7.53 ERA last season in 20 games for the Cubs and is 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA with them this year.


Samardzija started the season with Chicago but was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on April 24 after four disastrous relief outings.


He allowed 11 runs, seven earned, on five hits in 3 1/3 innings, walked six and struck out two.


"I put a lot into spring training this year to be a starter. I worked hard in the offseason," Samardzija said Wednesday before Iowa's 6-1 win over the 51s at Cashman Field. "To go in the 'pen and not pitch how you wanted, it's not fun, so I'm down here working on what I need to work on to get right."



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