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Cubs 5, Rangers 4

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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 something positive.

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 5-4 Tuesday.

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 decent spring."

Stewart had not played for the Cubs this spring and re-injured the strained left quadriceps during a minor league game last week.

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 pitches."

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 and Barney)."

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.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Soriano
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Texas

D. Murphy
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B3011000 .222
    Rougned Odor, 2B1000000 .200
Craig Gentry, CF2110000 .286
    Leonys Martin, CF1000000 .350
David Murphy, LF2111010 .333
    Aaron Cunningham, LF1000000 .276
Adrian Beltre, 3B2001010 .250
    Guilder Rodriguez, 3B0000100 .250
A.J. Pierzynski, C3011010 .289
    Konrad Schmidt, C1000001 .214
Mitch Moreland, 1B3010011 .390
    Michael Bianucci, 1B0000000 .000
   a- Julio Borbon, PH1010000 .357
Jim Adduci, RF3000001 .405
    Jared Prince, RF1000000 .000
Jeff Baker, DH4110011 .449
Luis Sardinas, SS2110010 .273
   b- Hanser Alberto, PH-SS2000011 .111
Totals3248417  
a-singled for Bianucci in the 9th
b-struck out for Sardinas in the 7th
Batting
2B - A.J. Pierzynski (4, Rusin)
SF - David Murphy (1), Adrian Beltre (2)
RBI - Ian Kinsler (8), David Murphy (6), Adrian Beltre (5), A.J. Pierzynski (5)
2-OUT RBI - A.J. Pierzynski (1)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Odor-Bianucci
PB - Konrad Schmidt (1)
E - A.J. Pierzynski (1, Dropped fly), Luis Sardinas (2, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alexi Ogando 5543232 4.11
Johan Yan (L,0-1) 1110110 2.45
Coty Woods 1100010 1.93
Tanner Scheppers 1000000 7.20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alexi Ogando 5-8, Johan Yan 1-0, Coty Woods 2-0
Batters Faced - Alexi Ogando 23, Johan Yan 4, Coty Woods 4, Tanner Scheppers 3
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
David DeJesus, CF3120000 .333
    Dave Sappelt, CF1000010 .200
Starlin Castro, SS2110100 .471
    Steve Clevenger, C1000000 .353
Anthony Rizzo, 1B2001011 .227
    Brad Nelson, 1B1010000 .256
Alfonso Soriano, LF3112003 .265
    Brian Bogusevic, LF1000001 .400
Nate Schierholtz, RF2000112 .359
    Johermyn Chavez, RF1000000 .333
Welington Castillo, C2100112 .194
    Alberto Gonzalez, SS1000000 .250
Luis Valbuena, 3B4010000 .282
Darwin Barney, 2B3111001 .222
    Edwin Maysonet, 2B0000000 .114
Dioner Navarro, DH2000000 .300
   a- Scott Hairston, PH-DH1000010 .135
Totals3057435  
a-struck out for Navarro in the 6th
Batting
HR - Alfonso Soriano (3, Ogando), Darwin Barney (1, Ogando)
SF - Anthony Rizzo (1)
RBI - Anthony Rizzo (3), Alfonso Soriano 2 (7), Darwin Barney (7)
SB - Starlin Castro (2, 2nd base off Ogando/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alfonso Soriano 1
DP - Soriano-Castro-Barney
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Rusin 5744040 2.50
Shawn Camp (W,1-0) 1000010 1.50
Carlos Marmol (H,5) 1000010 2.35
James Russell (H,3) 1000100 2.84
Blake Parker (S,2) 1100010 0.00
HBP - Gentry (by Chris Rusin)
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Rusin 5-5, Shawn Camp 1-1, Carlos Marmol 1-1, James Russell 1-2, Blake Parker 2-0
Batters Faced - Chris Rusin 22, Shawn Camp 3, Carlos Marmol 3, James Russell 4, Blake Parker 4
Game Information
Attendance - 10024
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Clint Fagan, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - Joel Hospodka