PHOENIX — Left-hander Chris Rusin was called up from Triple-A Iowa to get the start against Arizona on Monday, replacing the traded Matt Garza.
The Cubs beat the D’Backs 4-2 behind five solid innings by Rusin and home runs by Dioner Navarro and Junior Lake, who went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
Kevin Gregg entered in the ninth, posting his 19th save.
Rusin cruised through the first five innings, allowing only one hit, but was removed in the sixth with two men on, both of whom scored off Blake Parker.
Rusin was a late-season call-up last September and struggled in his first go-around. He has gotten his act together back at Iowa.Manager Dale Sveum said Rusin will get an extended look to stay in the rotation, though Jake Arrieta, acquired from Baltimore in the Scott Feldman deal, and Justin Grimm, acquired from Texas in the Garza deal, are in Iowa awaiting their opportunity to join the Cubs.
“We’ve got to fill that role of one of the best pitchers in baseball,” Sveum said. “Obviously it’s not easy to do, for anyone to step into those shoes. But we’ve got to fill it somehow. Hopefully some of the depth we’ve had will help out. Nobody expects them to throw up the numbers Garza did.”
Navarro gave Rusin an early lead to work with, homering to left off D’Backs lefty Tyler Skaggs. Lake, batting lead-off for the first time, hit a mammoth, two-run home run to center in the fifth, making it 3-0.
The D’Backs cut the deficit to one run in the sixth on Martin Prado’s sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single by Paul Goldschmidt. Lake’s RBI single in the ninth off Will Harris gave the Cubs a two-run cushion.