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ARI@CHC: Castro fields deflection, makes tough play

CHICAGO -- Tyler Colvin showed he can play first base and hit, Marlon Byrd ignored a slow start, and Starlin Castro continued to add to his highlight reel of plays.

But the Cubs' 6-5 comeback win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday was spoiled by the early exit of starter Andrew Cashner, who was pulled after 5 1/3 innings because of tightness in his right shoulder.

Colvin hit a two-run homer, Castro had two hits, including an RBI double, and Byrd smacked a tie-breaking RBI double to lift the Cubs to victory and put them over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.

"We need to get 10, 15 games above .500, and then I'll be smiling," Byrd said.

Cashner, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, was cruising in his first Major League start until he walked Willie Bloomquist with one out in the D-backs' sixth. It was only the second batter in the game that he went to a three-ball count on.

Cubs athletic trainer Mark O'Neal went to the mound and Cashner was lifted. For the game, the 24-year-old right-hander gave up one run on two hits and one walk, striking out two, and threw 72 pitches, 43 for strikes. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to be examined and undergo an MRI on his shoulder.

"He threw the ball extremely well, and the last few pitches before we got him out of there he said he felt a little tightness, and that's all I needed to hear with a young kid like that," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Up to that point, it was a real impressive outing. We talked about him, power sinkers, keeping the ball down, and he threw some really good sliders. He just looked comfortable and made pitches. Hopefully, he's OK."

The D-backs were impressed.

"First and foremost, he throws 98 miles an hour, so that helps," Bloomquist said of the right-hander. "He didn't leave his offspeed pitches over the middle of the plate and seemed to be effectively wild at times. He's got a great arm, so anytime you throw that hard, the chips are in your favor a little bit. Hats off to him -- he pitched a great game."

Cashner showed he can handle the bat in the second. With one out, the Cubs had runners at first and second and both advanced on Cashner's sacrifice. A run scored on catcher Miguel Montero's error as his throw to second sailed into center. Kosuke Fukudome walked, and Castro followed with an RBI double.

Ryan Roberts made it 2-1 with a leadoff homer in the D-backs' third, but the Cubs answered in their half as Byrd singled and, one out later, Colvin, starting at first for the first time in the big leagues in place of injured Carlos Pena, connected on his first homer.

Quade was without Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol, who had pitched three straight days in relief, and the D-backs rallied against the bullpen to tie the game at 4 on Gerardo Parra's RBI single and Bloomquist's two-run single.

The Cubs had two on and one out in the seventh, when Byrd delivered an RBI double. He entered the game batting .187 but wasn't losing any sleep.

"He understands what he needs to do and doesn't panic," Quade said of his No. 3 hitter. "He has confidence in his approach and his hitting coach."

"Grinding, grinding it out," Byrd said of the team, more than himself. "You're not always going to score runs, but if you can keep wearing on pitchers, you can get them tired. [Starter Barry] Enright, he was a bulldog out there, and he lasted a lot longer than we wanted him to. We got the runs when we had to."

Sean Marshall, subbing for Marmol, pitched the ninth and picked up his third career save. Pinch-hitter Xavier Nady's hard-hit grounder nearly re-arranged Marshall's teeth with one out and two on in the ninth. Castro made the play of the game as he scooped up the ball and threw Nady out.

"Quade told me before the game I was most likely going to play the role of closer, and I told him hopefully we'll win 9-1 and we won't have to worry about it," Marshall said. "It's fun getting a save. Marmol gave me a high five after the game and I said, 'You better watch out.'"

All of the Cubs' games have been decided by three runs or fewer, and they've been able to win close games, something the team couldn't do in 2010.

"It's a complete opposite of last year," Byrd said. "We didn't have the breaks when we wanted in one-run games [last year]. It's a good start this year. We have to keep pitching well and play defense and get those key hits when we need to." Comments