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03/19/2013 10:09 PM EDT
Soriano, Barney homer for Cubs in win over Rangers
CHICAGO CUBS 5, TEXAS 4
MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- After learning third baseman Ian Stewart
would start the season on the disabled list and right-hander
Scott Baker was being shut down because of inflammation in his
surgically repaired elbow, the Chicago Cubs were looking for
Chris Rusin provided the smiles.
Rusin overcame a shaky start to pitch one-hit ball for the final
three innings of his outing and the Cubs beat the Texas Rangers
The 26-year-old left-hander could find himself on the big league
club to start the season - or he might be sent to Triple-A to
pitch on a more regular schedule.
"I don't ask questions. If they (coaches) want to tell me (where
he is going), that is fine. I feel like I have had a pretty
Stewart had not played for the Cubs this spring and re-injured
the strained left quadriceps during a minor league game last
Baker signed as a free agent after having Tommy John surgery and
missing all last season. He was shut down after a shaky start,
his first against major leaguers.
Rusin began the spring with two relief appearances, followed by
three starts, including Tuesday.
He was 2-3 in seven starts for the Cubs in 2012, and had 25
starts at Triple-A Iowa and one start at Double-A Tennessee.
It's unlikely he would be part of the Cubs' rotation, at least
initially, although he could get a look in the bullpen with a
spot-starting role as a possibility. If it is the bullpen, he
said he would like to pitch in that situation a few times as the
spring winds down.
As it stands now, the rotation includes Jeff Samardzija, Edwin
Jackson, Travis Wood, Scott Feldman and Carlos Villanueva.
Samardzija is due to start the opener at Pittsburgh on April 1,
with Jackson scheduled for the home opener against Milwaukee at
Wrigley Field on April 8.
Rusin gave up two runs in each of the first two innings Tuesday.
"The first two innings today, you never want that," Rusin said.
"But you figure out your mistakes, find your release point. I
was able to calm down, locate my fastball and throw my off-speed
Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run home run and Darwin Barney added a
solo shot for the Cubs off Texas starter Alexi Ogando.
The right-handed Ogando, likely No. 3 or No. 4 in the Texas
rotation, worked with a full windup and out of the stretch.
"He is still trying to find command of his fastball," said
Rangers manager Ron Washington. "But he is progressing. I'm
sure he would like to take those two pitches back (to Soriano
NOTES: Closer candidate Carlos Marmol made his seventh spring
appearance for the Cubs, pitching a hitless seventh. ... CF
David DeJesus extended his hitting streak to 10 games (11 for
23). ... The Cubs have an off day Wednesday, and return to
action on Thursday with split squad games in Tucson (Dodgers)
and Peoria (Mariners). Texas also is off, resuming play on
Thursday against the Angels. ... RHP Yu Darvish, scratched from
Monday's start for the Rangers with a stiff neck, is due to
throw a bullpen session on Thursday and that will determine the
next course of action. ... OF Aaron Cunningham was sent to the
Texas minor league camp after the game. The team had moved 12
others out earlier in the day.
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