Cashner rebounds after rocky first

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After being named the Chicago Cubs' fifth starter, Andrew Cashner gave up five first-inning runs against the Texas Rangers on Saturday at Surprise Stadium.

Only three of the runs were earned, however the unearned runs came on Cashner’s fielding error, when he missed a throw at first from Carlos Pena.

The Cubs newly anointed starter settled down after that and shut Texas out for the next four innings, earning his second win of the spring when the Cubs rallied to a 6-5 victory. In five innings, Cashner (2-1) allowed seven hits, five runs (three earned), a walk and a homer. He struck out five.

Cashner’s five innings pitched was the most this spring for the 2008 No. 1 pick out of Texas Christian University. He threw 72 pitches and another 15 in the bullpen after coming out of the game.

“I struggled a little bit in the first inning. I hung a breaking ball to [Mitch] Moreland,” Cashner said. “The biggest thing for me was competing after the first inning. It’s tough giving up a five-spot in the first. Nobody wants to do that. But the biggest thing is I battled out there and didn’t let that faze me.”

According to manager Mike Quade, Cashner will pitch again Thursday against minor leaguers in Mesa, Ariz. in order to prepare for his first major league start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 5 at Wrigley Field.

Cashner admitted the Rangers were taking advantage of his fastball in the first inning.

“I came out there juiced up and left some fastballs up,” Cashner said. “I made some really bad pitches, but I settled down and kept the ball down after that.”

Cashner hit 97 on the radar gun on numerous occasions on Saturday afternoon, however it was his secondary pitches that helped him stay in the ballgame and get over the hump.

“I used my off-speed pitches and my sinker to get them out after the first,” Cashner said.