Cubs lefty Chris Rusin gets first big-league win
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org September 14, 2012 11:42PM
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo returned Friday and went 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a walk. | David Banks~Getty Images
PIRATES AT CUBS
The facts: 12:05 p.m., CSN, 720-AM.
The starters: Wandy Rodriguez (10-13, 3.72 ERA) vs. Jason Berken (NL debut).
Updated: October 16, 2012 6:12AM
Left-hander Chris Rusin, 25, is among the pitchers who will contend for a starting role in spring training, and he has made a good impression.
In his second start against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a week, Rusin went five innings and gave up two runs and four hits to gain his first major-league victory — and reduce the Cubs’ ‘‘magic number’’ to avoid 100 losses to six.
‘‘He had a lot more life on everything,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘When you strike out Andrew McCutchen twice, you’re doing something right.’’
Rusin struck out six without issuing a walk and didn’t allow a hit until the fifth.
‘‘They’re a good team, but regardless of who it is, I just try to do the best I can,’’ Rusin said.
Last week, he also worked five innings against Pittsburgh, giving up a run and five hits, but wasn’t involved in the decision in a Cubs victory.
Closer Carlos Marmol picked up his 19th consecutive save and has an ERA of 0.49 since May 2. He has 20 saves overall, his third consecutive season with 20 or more saves.
Right-hander Jason Berken, who was acquired Sept. 7 on waivers from the Baltimore Orioles, makes his first Cubs start Saturday.
Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson returned to the lineup Friday after getting injured on the road trip. Jackson had been out since Sept. 7 after hurting his knee in Pittsburgh on a dazzling catch. Rizzo missed Wednesday’s game in Houston after a collision at first base.
Rizzo went 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a walk, and Jackson (0-for-4 with two strikeouts) made a diving catch of Pedro Alvarez’s sinking fly in the eighth inning.
Darwin Barney has a nine-game hitting streak to go with his streak of 129 consecutive errorless games at second base.
Starlin Castro went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. Since his major-league debut May 7, 2010, he leads all National League players with 508 hits.