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Thursday, March 14, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 8, Dodgers 1

By Jesse Rogers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The good: Pitcher Chris Rusin cruised through five innings, giving up a leadoff walk and a hit. ... Cubs' bats did their damage early with Brent Lillibridge and Darnell McDonald getting hits in their first two at-bats while Welington Castillo hit a two-run triple to the wall in center. ... Josh Vitters made his spring debut after nursing a quad injury he suffered last month. ... Brian Bogusevic continued a hot spring with a two-run double in the ninth.

The bad: Outfielder Dave Sappelt struggled at the plate but drove in a run with a groundout in the first. ... Left-handed hitter Nate Schierholtz drew a walk in his first at-bat against lefty Chris Capuano but struck out his next two times at the plate.

What we learned: Rusin has been nothing short of dominant all spring, including Thursday. He said he had trouble locating in the bullpen before the game -- hence his four-pitch walk to the lead-off man -- but he quickly settled down and mowed down a good Dodgers lineup. He has a shot to open the season in the bullpen. ... McDonald may have inched ahead of Sappelt for the fifth outfield spot -- unless Bogusevic jumps ahead of them both --- but neither are sporting great batting averages. McDonald has probably had the better at-bats.