Cubs left-hander Chris Rusin took a big step toward claiming a rotation spot with his start on Sunday, a scoreless, four-inning effort, which led Chicago to a 6-3 win over the New York Mets.
The Cubs (9-10) got on the board early, thanks to a two-run single off the bat of catcher George Kottaras that plated Ryan Kalish and Donnie Murphy in the top of the first inning against Mets’ starter Jenrry Mejia (0-1, 4.15 ERA).
Murphy added some cushion in the third, hitting a solo blast to push the score to 3-0. It was his first home run of the spring. Two more Chicago runs came in the fourth, via a second solo shot – this one from Dan Vogelbach – and a run-scoring single by Ryan Sweeney.
Rusin finished the afternoon with four scoreless frames, allowing just one hit. He struck out two and did not walk a batter. So far this spring, the southpaw is 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA.
New York got runs back in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively. One was a solo shot, courtesy of Zach Lutz; the second, a two-run shot from Andrew Brown that brought the Mets within 5-3 before Cubs’ prospect Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo blast in the ninth to give Chicago a bit of breathing room. Alcantara led the offense with three hits on the afternoon.
Right-hander Alberto Cabrera nailed things down in the bottom of the ninth for his third save of the spring. He has a 1.80 ERA in five innings of work this spring, including a trio of punchouts. Opponents are hitting just .188 against the 25-year old.