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Cubs lose twice in Cactus League play

Updated: April 19, 2012 8:22AM

D-bACKS 12, CUBS 2

For the record

Still no word about whether he’ll get a second consecutive Opening Day start, but Ryan Dempster plugged along toward
being ready with a
classic get-your-work-in day against the Diamondbacks. He allowed the first three runs and fell just short of a four-inning start when he exited after walking the pitcher with two outs in the fourth. Cubs pitchers allowed five home runs in the two games Thursday.

Position watch

Fifth-starter candidate Rodrigo Lopez survived a one-hopper off his backside early in the game to go three innings against the Rockies. He allowed his first two runs of the spring on a two-run homer by Wilin Rosario. With an improved slider this spring, he’s in the thick of what’s turning into a four-man battle for two starting spots (with Randy Wells, Chris Volstad and Jeff Samardzija).

Status watch

Left-hander James
Russell, already
established in the bullpen and trying to step into traded Sean Marshall’s late-inning role, faced a left-right-right-left-switch sequence of established Diamondbacks hitters and fared well. The only hit he allowed was a double on a fly to center that Marlon Byrd lost in the sun.

On deck

Giants at Cubs (6-7), 3:05 p.m., Matt Garza, Chris Rusin, Lendy Castillo, Trever Miller and Rafael Dolis are scheduled to pitch.

Gordon Wittenmyer

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