Cubs 8, Dodgers 1
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly didn't like the manner in which his team carried itself in an 8-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
''No energy,'' Mattingly said.
Mattingly was excited to hear injured outfielder Carl Crawford played in a minor league exhibition game, though. Crawford was shut down on March 1.
''I was told he looked good,'' Mattingly said. ''Step one, step two. That's good.''
Five Chicago pitchers limited the Dodgers to four hits. Starting left-hander Chris Rusin, who made seven starts for the Cubs last year after he was called up in August from Triple-A Iowa, threw five scoreless innings and allowed only one hit on a hot afternoon in the desert.
The Dodgers also committed two errors.
''It was one of those days when we felt like we've been here a long time,'' Mattingly said. ''I've got a feeling it's not just us. But I still don't like it.
''You get bad habits playing this way,'' he added.
Rusin, a left-hander competing for a spot in the Cubs bullpen, made it hard for the Dodgers to gain any momentum. After walking leadoff batter Mark Ellis, he frustrated an order that featured Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez.
''I didn't know I'd do that well against them today,'' said Rusin, who gave up a single to shortstop Alfredo Amezaga in the third. ''I had movement and had early action and kept my defenders on their toes and not on their heels.''
Dodger left-hander Chris Capuano had a rocky start in his third appearance this spring. In 4 1-3 innings, he gave up five runs on six hits, including a two-run triple by Welington Castillo in the first.
''I felt pretty good out there, especially at the end, said Capuano, who was 12-12 last season and is trying to keep his spot in the starting rotation. ''I had a little trouble with command of the fastball.''
Mattingly thought Capuano left too many pitches in the middle of the plate.
''Capuano changes speeds a lot,'' Mattingly said. ''He needs to hit the corners. He's not and that's not good.''
For the Dodgers, the good news Thursday came before the game during a minor league exhibition against Meija University, a Japanese college.
Crawford hit against game pitching. It was another step in his rehab from a nerve irritation in a surgically-repaired left elbow. On Tuesday, he faced relievers Kenley Jansen and J.P Howell.
In the minor league exhibition, he got six at-bats from pitchers on both teams. He ran the bases. He also took part in throwing drills for the first time since suffering the irritation.
NOTES: Jansen was added to the Netherlands roster for the World Baseball Classic. The Netherlands will play the second semifinal Monday. Jansen, a native of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, needed a medical waiver to play because he had surgery in October for an irregular heartbeat. An injury last season or surgery in the offseason can keep a player off a WBC roster. He replaces pitcher Jonatan Isenia, who has a strained right elbow. ''Actually, we think this will be good for him,'' Mattingly said. ''He'll get into competition and it will be a good scenario, as far as the competition and energy level.'' . Zack Greinke, who is back at Camelback Ranch after a trip to Los Angeles Monday for anti-inflammatory injection in his right elbow, is scheduled Friday to play catch. His next bullpen session should be next week. It's not known whether Greinke, the No. 2 starter in the Dodgers' projected rotation, will be ready for his first start April 2 against San Francisco at Dodger Stadium. He signed a six-year, $147 million contract in December.