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Rusin dominates again in Cactus League play

Lefty lowers spring ERA to 0.69 with scoreless outing; Castillo smacks two-run triple

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Welington Castillo tripled home a pair of runs in a three-run first inning, and Chris Rusin pitched five scoreless innings as the Cubs four-hit the Dodgers Thursday, 8-1.

Rusin, in the mix to make the Cubs pitching staff, outpitched veteran Dodgers starter Chris Capuano. Rusin allowed only one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Capuano, trying to fight his way back into the Dodgers crowded rotation, struggled in the early innings before retiring the final five batters he faced. He was charged with five earned runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings.

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The Cubs jumped ahead with a three-run first inning that featured a two-run triple to the warning track in center by Castillo, who homered off Capuano when they met on Feb. 25.

In his third-inning at-bat Thursday, Castillo was hit on the elbow by a Capuano pitch. One out before Castillo was hit, Brent Lillibridge singled. One out after Castillo was hit, Luis Valbuena singled home Lillibridge. Darnell McDonald added an RBI single to extend the lead to 5-0.

The Cubs picked up a sixth run on a wild pickoff throw by Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario, making his first appearance since returning from the World Baseball Classic with Team Venezuela.

Chicago added their final two runs on a double by Brian Bogusevic two batters after a dropped fly ball in the outfield.

Lillibridge and McDonald each had a pair of hits for the Cubs.

Cubs up next: The Cubs will play the first of three days of split-squad games on Friday when half the team travels to Glendale, Ariz., to play their intra-city rivals, the White Sox, and half play host to Team Japan in an exhibition game at HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz. Travis Wood will face the Japanese while Scott Feldman starts against the White Sox. The game against the White Sox will be broadcast on

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for

Chicago Cubs, Brian Bogusevic, Welington Castillo, Scott Feldman, Brent Lillibridge, Darnell McDonald, Anthony Rizzo, Chris Rusin, Luis Valbuena, Travis Wood