Russell to start for Cubs in Dodgers opener

Russell to start for Cubs in Dodgers opener

PHOENIX -- Cubs manager Mike Quade confirmed on Sunday that left-hander John Russell is now officially slated to start Monday night's game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles as Chicago finishes it seven-game western trip with a three-game set at Dodger Stadium.

Quade had said prior to his club's game against the D-backs at Chase Field on Saturday that he still wanted to have a conversation with general manager Jim Hendry before firming up the decision. But Russell turned out to be the guy. The Cubs could have dipped into the Minor Leagues for a starter.

Veteran left-hander Doug Davis, who was signed as a free agent, might be a future option, but he's scheduled to start for the Cubs' Class A Peoria affiliate on Thursday.

Russell has been a spot starter and reliever for Quade during the first month of the season, starting three times in his seven appearances. He's 1-3 with an 8.31 ERA.

His last two appearances have been starts and were at Wrigley Field on April 20 against the Padres and this past Tuesday against the Rockies. Russell worked four innings in each game and combined to allow eight earned runs on 12 hits, six of them for homers. The Cubs lost both games.

Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano will get the final two games of the Dodgers series.