The Cubs continued their Spring fling with the Rangers, this time playing host to Texas in Mesa on Tuesday. Both sides had their offense clicking from the start of the game, with Cubs starter Chris Rusin giving up a pair of runs in each of the first two innings. The Cubs lefty would settle down from the third on to keep his team in the game. Rusin finished with five innings pitched while allowing seven hits. The four strikeouts were an added bonus, but the goose egg for walks was the prettiest stat of all.
The Cubs offense matched the Rangers through two innings, with Alfonso Soriano providing a two run shot and Darwin Barney picking up his first homer of the Spring. Lead off man David DeJesus, who has been working on focusing on the middle of the ball when batting, went 2 for 3 with a run from the lead off spot. The Cubs may be in line for a nice batting average and OBP boost from their center fielder, who is a contract year.
Chicago would pick up one more run in the sixth and that would prove to be the ballgame. The Cubs bullpen came in and shut the lights out on the Rangers. Shawn Camp, Carlos Marmol, and James Russell, all projected to be on the squad come Opening Day, each tossed a scoreless inning. Blake Parker came in to collect his second save with a scoreless ninth, as he tries to make it tough on the Cubs coaching staff to fill out the remaining spots in the pen.
The Cubs are now 12-14 as the Cactus League begins to wind down and as the players ramp up for the regular season.