Friday, September 14, 2012

Starlin Castro with 4 RBIs as Cubs win 7-4 over Pirates; Albert Almora at Wrigley Field; 2013 schedule released

The Cubs won 7-4 over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first of a three-game series at Wrigley Field Friday afternoon.

Rookie Chris Rusin was the starting pitcher and earned his first career MLB win.  Rusin was impressive as he allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six batters and didn't walk any over five innings pitched.

Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson both returned to the lineup for Friday's game.  Rizzo had a two-run double and Jackson had an amazing sliding catch later in the game.  Jackson had to miss five games due to the bruised knee he got as a result of crashing into the centerfield fence while making an amazing catch in Pittsburgh.  Rizzo missed one game after colliding with the Astros' first baseman on Tuesday night in Houston.

Starlin Castro had an exceptional game as he was 2-for-4, including a homer and 4 RBIs.  Carlos Marmol earned his 20th save of the season.

Steve Clevenger and Carlos Marmol celebrate the Cubs' 7-4 win over the Pirates on Friday (photo from
Second baseman Darwin Barney's consecutive errorless game streak is now at 129 games.  Barney also increased his hitting streak to a career-high nine games.

In other Cubs news, 1st round pick Albert Almora took batting practice today as Cubs President Theo Epstein watched.  Top prospect Jorge Soler is expected to take batting practice before Saturday's game.

Albert Almora talks to Cubs President Theo Epstein during batting practice before Friday's game against the Pirates (photo from @Cubs on Twitter)
The Cubs' 2013 schedule was released this week and can be found here.  The Cubs will open their 2013 season on the road in Pittsburgh on Monday, April 1st, where they will play three games against the Pirates and then head to Atlanta to take on the Braves for three games before heading home to Wrigley Field for the home opener on Monday, April 8th against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Tomorrow, the Cubs and Pirates will play game two at 12:05pm CT.  Right-hander Jason Berken will make his first start since joining the Cubs when he was acquired off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles last Friday. 

Berken had a record of 5-6 with a 3.50 ERA at Triple-A Norfolk.  Tomorrow's spot would have been Jeff Samardzija's turn in the rotation, but he has since been shut down for the rest of the season since he reached his maximum innings since becoming a starter this season.

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