Cubs' Castro pulls up with hamstring tightness
By JASON SKODA
MESA, Ariz. (AP) Starlin Castro wanted a third at-bat. He got it and then pulled up lame.
Castro left in the bottom of the fourth inning after pulling up on a ground ball to shortstop Wednesday during an 11-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cubs said their shortstop had left hamstring tightness.
"It was a little bit tight but not too bad," Castro said. "I felt it when I touched the base. It scared me. I don't want to be hurt. I feel too good this year."
Castro, who was the designated hitter, played in 162 games last and expects to do so again this year.
"He was jogging around in the training room a little bit," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It was more tight than a pull or anything. He pulled up quite a bit, and he was kind of hobbling, but it doesn't seem like a big deal at all. Certain players love to play period. He is one them guys and there is no taking him out of the lineup. He begged for the third at-bat and looked what happened."
Castro said he never had experienced a similar injury and thought conditioning may have been a factor.
"It felt like a Charlie horse. Nothing bad," he said. "I worked too much in the Dominican, running a lot."
Aaron Harang, bidding for a spot in the Dodgers rotation, allowed four runs, five hits and a walk in the first, then threw a 1-2-3 second. He was 10-10 with a career-best 3.61 ERA last year.
He tightened up during the top of the first.
"I felt like I was having a hard time getting loose again," he said of the bottom half. "It felt like it took to the middle of the inning before I was getting anywhere loose."
Alfredo Amezaga had three hits and two RBIs for the Dodgers, who trailed 4-1 after the first but led 8-4 in the middle of the third.
NOTES: Dodgers INF Luis Cruz went to emergency care with flulike symptoms on Tuesday. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he was fine on Wednesday and will be out of for a few days. ... Cubs RHP Matt Garza (left lat muscle) is getting closer to taking the mound, possibly as early as Thursday, after two days of upper- and lower-body workouts. ... Dodgers CF Matt Kemp (offseason shoulder surgery) took some swings in the batting cages and could be at DH this weekend.
Updated February 27, 2013