White Sox 9, Cubs 3
White Sox right fielder Joe Borchard lined one off Rusch in the second inning. The left-hander finished the frame, but did not return for the third, instead going to the trainer’s room to put ice on his right leg.
“It is just a bad bruise right now,” Rusch said. “I don’t think it will be anything more than just a couple of days of riding the bike, that is about it.”
Even before Rusch was hit with the line drive, he was hit hard by the White Sox, who scored four runs in the first inning.
Joe Crede, who went 4-for-4, had a run-scoring single in the second and a two-run double in the fourth to give the White Sox a 7-1 advantage.
“I left pitches up and never really got into any kind of a groove,” Rusch said. “It was not very good. Everything they hit was through the holes and I left a couple of pitches up.”
Aramis Ramirez hit a solo home run in the first inning against White Sox starter Javier Vazquez, who allowed six hits and three runs in 4 1-3 innings to get the win. Ramirez and Juan Pierre both went 2-for-3 for the Cubs.
Vazquez, just back with the club after pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
“I was throwing everything, my fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. I was throwing everything for strikes,” Vazquez said. “I made some good pitches, and got out of a jam.”
Brandon McCarthy made his first spring relief appearance. He got a double play to end the fifth, and struck out two in a scoreless sixth.
McCarthy, a starter who is switching to the bullpen due to the White Sox’ starting depth, said he felt at ease despite a little pre-game anxiety.
“It is probably the most nervous I have ever been on a baseball field. On the sidelines my knees were knocking all the way up there,” McCarthy said. “I had no idea what I was doing out there. I was starting from the stretch. (But) I felt good and felt I settled in.”