- Jesse Rogers, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: The Cubs broke the game open with a five-run fourth inning thanks to pitcher Scott Feldman, who began the two-out barrage with a run-scoring single. Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo each added two-run hits later in the inning and the Cubs never looked back. David DeJesus was on base three times, including in the first inning when he singled and scored the game’s first run. Rizzo added a two-run homer in the eighth inning, his ninth of the season. Feldman pitched brilliantly for the second game in a row, giving up just two hits before leaving with what looked to be a cramp in his pitching hand in the eighth.
What it means: It’s the first blowout that went in the Cubs’ favor this season. Unlike most nights, the game didn’t come down to the bullpen or needing a late-inning big hit. A shaky spring, which also extended into his first couple starts, have turned around into a great run for Feldman, who lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.70. His location and mixture of pitches has been outstanding.
Feldman’s plight: Feldman’s night is even better considering it came against his old team of the previous eight years. With Carlos Villanueva backing up some in his last couple of starts, Feldman might have earned a chance to remain in the rotation when Matt Garza is ready to return in about 10-14 days. His numbers speak for themselves and he’s still doing it as the weather is warming up, improving conditions for hitters. Feldman is the early-May surprise.