Russell Leads Cubs to Win Over D-Backs - NBC Chicago
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Russell Leads Cubs to Win Over D-Backs

Reliever James Russell scored his first save Tuesday



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    Despite a rough seventh inning, James Russell recovered for the save.

    Cubs reliever James Russell had a rough seventh inning. It was the eighth that caught his manager's attention.

    Russell allowed two inherited runners to score in the seventh but he shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks in the eighth inning to help Chicago beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 Tuesday.

    "You can't leave here without talking about Russ," Quade said. "We were in a bit of a mess pitchingwise and he picked us up. I absolutely needed him. Him giving us the eighth, the finishing up the way he did was fantastic."

    Russell (1-0) worked 1 2-3 innings and gave up two hits while Sean Marshall closed out the ninth for his first save.

    Russell entered in the seventh and struck out pinch-hitter Russell Branyan. He then gave up a single to Diamondbacks leadoff batter Willie Bloomquist that scored two and tied the game at 4.

    After the Cubs went ahead 6-4 in the bottom half, Russell shut down the Diamondbacks in the eighth, coaxing Miguel Montero into a double play and ended the inning by striking out Chris Young.

    "That was following the one mistake I thought he made — he gave up the base hit and gives up the lead then came right back and rebounded," Quade said.

    Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson was disappointed his team couldn't get more.

    "It was great to see us fight back, but we're here to fight back and win," Gibson said. "There's no consolation. I don't expect us to ever lay down, we haven't yet. The object is to win the game, we have to execute better in those situations."

    The Cubs also had a solid outing from starter Andrew Cashner, a 2010 reliever making his first career start. Cashner worked 5 1-3 innings before leaving with one out in the sixth with stiffness in his right shoulder.

    "He was great all game and threw the ball extremely well," Quade said. "The last few pitches before we got him out of there he felt a little tightness and that's all I needed to hear. Up to that point, it was a real impressive outing."

    Cashner, who is likely to have an MRI, shut down 11 of the first 12 batters he faced and gave up just one run on two hits — including a third inning lead off homer to Ryan Roberts.

    Cubs centerfielder Marlon Byrd went 3 for 4 and drove in pinch-hitter Jeff Baker with a one-out double to left off Sam Demel (1-1) for a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh.