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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Rangers 6, Cubs 2

By Doug Padilla

MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs kept it close into the late innings on Tuesday before the Texas Rangers ran away with a 6-2 victory. The Cubs lost for the eighth time in their last 10 games.

The good: Starlin Castro has delivered a solid spring and only seems to be heating up. Castro went 2-for-4 Tuesday with a triple and a double and is batting .318 (14-for-44). Before the game he was working on both defensive and offensive tips with manager Dale Sveum. The two even poured over video to adjust things with his offensive approach.

The bad: Lendy Castillo got into trouble with a walk, a hit batter and another walk in consecutive batters to load the bases. A single allowed two runs to break a tie in the eighth inning. Castillo, who is a Rule 5 pickup, needs to make the major-league roster or be offered back to his former team for half the $50,000 selection fee. It was just the second time this spring he had given up a run in seven outings.

Outside the box: Blake DeWitt continues to make his case as a utility guy and left-handed hitter off the bench. He went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, making solid contact in all four at-bats. At this point, DeWitt is ahead of Adrian Cardenas for a big league job. Cardenas is the player who knocked DeWitt off the 40-man roster when he was obtained off waivers from the A’s in February.

Up next: The Cubs have their only off-day of the spring Wednesday. They return to action Thursday with right-hander Matt Garza (1-2, 9.82 ERA) facing off against the Rangers’ Colby Lewis (0-1, 3.00) in a 3:05 p.m. start from Surprise.