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Cubs' Russell stands by selection of HR pitch

Cubs' Russell stands by selection of HR pitch

Cubs' Russell stands by selection of HR pitch play video for Cubs' Russell stands by selection of HR pitch

SAN DIEGO -- James Russell served up a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning to the Padres' Will Venable on Friday, and after the eventual 8-6 defeat, Cubs manager Dale Sveum blamed bad pitch selection by the lefty reliever.

"You're not supposed to throw [Venable] a slider, and he threw him a slider," Sveum said.

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Russell disagreed.

"I saw [Sveum] wasn't happy with the slider, but I don't agree with that," Russell said Saturday. "That's what I do, is throw sliders to lefties and get them out. I don't think it's a bad pitch call at all."

Russell now has given up six earned runs over 2 2/3 innings in his most recent four outings. He said he felt great and was not overworked.

"I just hung a slider [to Venable], and lately my mistakes have been getting hit hard, and it's just been in big situations," Russell said. "My body feels fine. I don't feel overused at all. That's why I work hard in the offseason and work hard every day, so they can wear me out. That's my job, and I take pride in that.

"Pitch selection was not the problem last night," Russell said. "It's a hanging slider. If I get it down, it's not going to be hit out of the park."

It was the second home run by a left-handed batter off Russell this year. The Cardinals' Jon Jay hit the other one last Sunday at Wrigley Field.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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