Chicago Cubs

Rusin pitches 5 scoreless in Cubs’ victory

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Five Cubs pitchers limited the Dodgers to four hits Thursday in an 8-1 spring training victory.

Starting left-hander Chris Rusin, who made seven starts for the Cubs last year after he was called up in August from Triple-A Iowa, threw five scoreless innings and allowed only one hit on a hot afternoon in the desert.

The Dodgers also committed two errors.

“It was one of those days when we felt like we’ve been here a long time,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. “I’ve got a feeling it’s not just us. But I still don’t like it.

“You get bad habits playing this way,” he added.

Rusin, a left-hander competing for a spot in the Cubs’ bullpen, made it hard for the Dodgers to gain any momentum. After walking leadoff batter Mark Ellis, he frustrated an order that featured Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez.

“I didn’t know I’d do that well against them today,” said Rusin, who gave up a single to shortstop Alfredo Amezaga in the third. “I had movement and had early action and kept my defenders on their toes and not on their heels.”

Dodgers left-hander Chris Capuano had a rocky start in his third appearance this spring. In 41/3 innings, he gave up five runs on six hits, including a two-run triple by Welington Castillo in the first.

“I felt pretty good out there, especially at the end, said Capuano, who was 12-12 last season and is trying to keep his spot in the starting rotation. “I had a little trouble with command of the fastball.”

For the Dodgers, the good news Thursday came before the game during a minor league exhibition against Meija University, a Japanese college.

Carl Crawford hit against game pitching. It was another step in his rehab from a nerve irritation in a surgically repaired left elbow. On Tuesday, he faced relievers Kenley Jansen and J.P Howell.

In the minor league exhibition, he got six at-bats from pitchers on both teams. He ran the bases. He also took part in throwing drills for the first time since suffering the irritation.

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