WASHINGTON (AP) — Chris Rusin made an impressive major league debut for the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 21 when he allowed just one run over five innings in a loss at Milwaukee.
On Tuesday night, he looked more like a rookie.
Rusin was pulled in the second inning after allowing five runs on eight hits as Chicago lost 11-5 to the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.
Adam LaRoche hit two of Washington's six homers and Ian Desmond had four RBIs 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.
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," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum. "He threw a few good changeups, that was about it. It's tough to get through a major league lineup, lets alone that lineup, with a flat fastball."
Desmond hit a two-run drive off Rusin (0-2) in the first for his 20th homer. The All-Star shortstop added a two-run double after Jesus Flores homered in Washington's three-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 Cub management over the next month.