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Cubs manager Dale Sveum downplays Starlin Castro injury

Chicago Cubs' StarlCastro connects for hit against Los Angeles Dodgers during third inning spring training baseball game Wednesday Feb. 27

Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro connects for a hit against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of a spring training baseball game, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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Updated: February 27, 2013 6:53PM

MESA, Ariz. – An already ugly exhibition game took a painful turn for the Cubs when All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro pulled up limping at first base running out a ground ball in the fourth inning of the Cubs’ 11-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday at HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa.

The team said Castro suffered “left hamstring tightness” and was being evaluated by the medical staff.

Manager Dale Sveum said the injury doesn’t look as bad as it might have first appeared, and Castro’s status will be monitored daily.

``We got a pretty good diagnosis, actually,’’ Sveum said. ``He was kind of jogging around in the training room a little bit after he got worked on. It was more tight than a pull or anything like that. Thank God nothing’s real major at all.’’

Castro said he didn’t expect to miss much time and doesn’t see it as any threat to being ready for the start of the season, which is more than a month away.

``Let’s see tomorrow how I feel and see what the trainer tells me,’’ he said, ``but I think it’s going to be good.’’

The two-time All-Star is the third projected Cubs starter to go down with an injury in the last 10 days, joining pitcher Matt Garza (lat strain) and third baseman Ian Stewart (quad strain).

Manager Dale Sveum said Garza could start throwing again by Thursday, depending how his body responds to Wednesday’s upper-body workout. Stewart still hasn’t been allowed to take batting practice but was cleared to participate in the camp bunting tournament.

Castro’s injury just made an already irritating day for the Cubs worse, as a parade of projected minor-leaguers and periphery bullpen candidates combined to surrender 14 hits and four walks, to go with three fielding errors behind them.

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