Cubs' Rusin chased early in rout
WASHINGTON -- Chris Rusin made an impressive major-league debut for the Cubs on Aug. 21, allowing 1 run over 5 innings in a loss at Milwaukee.
On Tuesday night, he looked more like a rookie.
Rusin was pulled in the second inning after allowing 5 runs on 8 hits as The Cubs lost 11-5 to the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.
Adam LaRoche hit 2 of Washington's 6 homers, and Ian Desmond had 4 RBI for the Nationals, who opened a season-high 7½-game advantage in the division. Second-place Atlanta lost to Colorado 6-0 on Tuesday night.
The Cubs have lost four straight. They have eight losing streaks of at least four games this season.
Rusin (0-2), who was recalled from Double-A Tennessee before the game, was pulled after the first four batters reached in the second. It was the Cubs' shortest start of the season.
"Without breaking balls you better keep it down and you better have movement and today he didn't have either. The cutter wasn't doing a whole lot, and you couldn't get the ball to sink or keep the ball down," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
"He threw a few good changeups, that was about it. It's tough to get through a major-league lineup, let alone that lineup, with a flat fastball."
Desmond hit a 2-run drive off Rusin (0-2) in the first for his 20th homer. The all-star shortstop added a 2-run double after Jesus Flores homered in Washington's 3-run second.
"I just didn't keep it down, and when I missed my spots they capitalized and did what they were supposed to do, so I give them credit," Rusin said. "This is the big leagues, and you can't miss your spots here because that will happen."
Despite Tuesday's outing, Rusin has a chance to make an impression on Cubs management over the next month.
"That's what you want to do, but you can't have outings like this. You've got to go out there and keep the ball down, hit your spots and hopefully make an impression," he said.
"But I didn't do well tonight. Hopefully I'll learn from my mistakes and bounce back next time."
The Cubs used seven pitchers, five in the first five innings as Washington built an 8-1 lead.
LaRoche and Jayson Werth had 4 hits apiece for the Nationals. Desmond, Jesus Flores, Tyler Moore and Ryan Zimmerman also went deep. The 6 home runs matched a team record.
Every Nationals starter had at least 1 hit.
Alfonso Soriano hit his 26th homer and a 2-run triple for the Cubs, and Starlin Castro drove in 2 runs.
"We have to try to come back one day at a time. We lost yesterday, we lost today. We have to come back with more energy and try to get the win tomorrow," Soriano said.