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Castro returns from injury as Cubs fall

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MESA, Ariz. – After two weeks out with a hamstring injury, Starlin Castro was happy to be back on the field.

Even if it was only for three innings.

Sidelined since Feb. 27, the All-Star got a single and walked Wednesday in the Cubs’ 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Castro, who hurt his left leg in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, walked against Jorge De La Rosa leading off the first, singled in the third and came out after the inning.

Playing his usual shortstop position, Castro just missed throwing out leadoff batter Eric Young on a grounder leading off the game. Josh Rutledge followed with a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who threw to second, and Castro’s throw to first just missed getting a double play. Troy Tulowitzki followed with an RBI double.

Castro had three assists in the second, when Jordan Pacheco, Nolan Arenado and Ramon Hernandez all grounded to shortstop.

“I want to keep playing because I’m feeling good,” Castro said. “I can move pretty good. When I took ground balls earlier in BP, the coaches kept a close eye on my backhand and I felt pretty good when I moved quick.”

Cubs starter Edwin Jackson gave up one run and three hits in five innings, retiring eight in a row.

“I had a rhythm from the first inning,” Jackson said. “Defense played well behind me and that was the objective, trying to pitch to contact and let the defense work.”

De La Rosa escaped bases-loaded jams in the first and third innings, and allowed four hits in four innings with six strikeouts.

“The ability to minimize damage or control damage is really important. De La did that,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “I think he was able to do it because his changeup and curveball were real good.”

Rutledge helped bail out De La Rosa with a diving stop that held Scott Hairston to an infield single in the first inning and prevented a run from scoring from second base.

“The thing I like is defensively, we’ve played lights out this spring,” Weiss said.

Tulowitzki had a sixth-inning sacrifice fly against Kyuji Fujikawa.

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