Lefty duo adjusting to first action vs. MLB hitters

Lefty duo adjusting to first action vs. MLB hitters

CHICAGO -- There should be some good competition next spring for spots in the Cubs rotation, and left-handers Brooks Raley and Chris Rusin both figure to be battling for a spot.

Both made their big league debuts this season, and while Raley is still in the rotation, Rusin was expected to return on Sept. 1 when rosters expand.

"They've gotten put in a situation where they had to come up here and perform and they've done a nice job," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the pair. "The bottom line with guys like that is they have to learn to get through a lineup the second time a team faces them and to make the adjustments after Major League hitters have seen you one time.

"They've done a good job," Sveum said. "They're poised and their mound presence has been good. They haven't been like a deer in the headlights by no means, and they've done a good job on the mound."

Rusin started for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday and struck out seven over seven innings, giving up three runs on four hits. Raley (1-2, 6.64 ERA) will make his fifth big league start Thursday against the Brewers.