Game Thirty-Two – Cubs 9, Rangers 2
WP – Scott Feldman (3-3) LP – Nick Tepesch (2-3) Save – None
The Cubs ended their four-game losing streak with an impressive win over the Rangers on Monday night. Scott Feldman was the story in the make-up game with his former team, but Monday’s win was a total team effort. The Cubs scored a season-high nine runs while Scott Feldman threw seven-plus innings of shutout ball.
The Cubs scored a season-high five runs in the fourth inning, all with two outs, that turned a one-run game into a comfortable six run advantage. The Cubs tacked on a run in the seventh then added two in the eighth on Anthony Rizzo’s ninth homer of the season.
Scott Feldman picked up where he left off against the Padres. Feldman pitched into the eighth inning before he had to leave with a hand cramp. Feldman was able to control his emotions while allowing only three baserunners. Feldman struck out three, surrendered just two hits and a walk. The Rangers did not put two runners on base while Feldman was on the hill. Feldman threw 104 pitches, 63 for strikes, in route to his third straight win.
Scott Feldman (1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored) also drove in the Cubs’ second run of the game and his run scoring single appeared to relax the offense. After Feldman singled and plated Luis Valbuena, Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo collected two-run singles that capped the Cubs’ five-run fourth inning. The five-run fourth marked a season high for runs scored in a single inning and equaled the total of runs scored by the Cubs in the fourth inning this season (31 games).
Anthony Rizzo (3-for-4 with a home run, a double, a walk and four RBI) drove in four of the Cubs’ nine runs. Rizzo singled in a pair in the fifth and hit a two-run homer off Derek Lowe in the eighth, his ninth home run of the season. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with two RBI, a walk and three runs scored) not only drove in two runs but scored three more. Luis Valbuena (3-for-4 with a double and a run scored) notched his second three-hit game of the season.
David DeJesus (1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored) was on base three times on Monday night.
The Cubs also showed patience at the plate. The Cubs walked seven times, three intentional, while pounding out 11 hits. The offense worked deep counts and forced the Rangers to throw 175 pitches.
With Monday’s win, the Cubs posted a series victory over the Rangers and improved to 12-20 on the season.
The Cubs got on board in the opening frame after Scott Feldman retired the Rangers in order to start the game. David DeJesus singled to center on a 2-2 pitch from Nick Tepesch. Castro flied out to center for the first out. DeJesus took off for second on a 3-1 pitch to Rizzo. Geovany Soto’s throw was low and skipped past Elvis Andrus. DeJesus advanced to third. Anthony Rizzo walked with one out.
Alfonso Soriano hit a 2-2 pitch to Moreland at first. Moreland threw to second to force Rizzo but Soriano beat out Andrus’ throw and DeJesus scored, 1-0 Cubs. Soriano appeared to get picked off first. He slid around Moreland’s throw and Andrus’ tag and was called safe. Replays showed Andrus tagged Soriano before he touched the base. Nate Schierholtz struck out swinging for the third out.
Scott Feldman worked around a one-out single by Geovany Soto in the second inning. Feldman needed 28 pitches, 18 for strikes, to complete two innings of work on Monday night.
The Cubs wasted a chance to tack on to their 1-0 lead in the third. DeJesus walked with one out and advanced to second on when Ian Kinsler misplayed a hot shot off the bat of Starlin Castro. Castro ripped a 0-1 pitch between the legs of the second base umpire. Rizzo struck out swinging for the second out and Soriano flied out to deep left to end the inning.
Feldman kept the Rangers from tying the game in the fourth inning after Nelson Cruz singled with two outs, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Welington Castillo. Feldman induced a grounder to Barney off the bat of Mitch Moreland to end the inning. Feldman threw 57 pitches, 35 for strikes, over the first four frames.
The Cubs put their best inning of the season together in the fourth … and it all started with the bases empty and two outs.
Luis Valbuena pulled a 3-1 pitch into right field for a double. Nick Tepesch missed on the first two offerings to Darwin Barney. Ron Washington then helped the Cubs. Washington decided to intentionally walk the slumping Barney and put runners on first and second with two down.
Scott Feldman made his former manager pay. Feldman drove a 1-2 pitch into the gap in left center. Valbuena scored easily as Barney held at third with one down. Leonys Martin did an excellent job of cutting the ball off and keeping it from rolling to the vines. With runners on first and third with two down, DeJesus worked a walk.
Starlin Castro stepped in with the bags juiced and two outs. Castro pulled Tepesch’s first pitch into left field. Barney and Feldman scored, 4-0 Cubs, and Castro advanced to second on the throw. Anthony Rizzo drove a 0-1 pitch into left. DeJesus and Castro scored, 6-0 Cubs. Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.
At the end of four complete, the Cubs led 6-0.
Scott Feldman issued a two-out walk to Martin in the fifth … but that was all. Feldman threw 77 pitches, 46 for strikes, over the first five innings. Feldman then retired the Rangers in order in the sixth. Feldman threw 90 pitches, 54 for strikes, in six innings on Monday night.
The Cubs tacked on in the sixth inning against Michael Kirkman. Starlin Castro worked a one out walk and advanced to third on a double to left by Anthony Rizzo. Kirkman intentionally walked Soriano and Ron Washington went to his pen for another southpaw, Joseph Ortiz. With the bases loaded and one down, Nate Schierholtz drove a 3-2 pitch from Ortiz into left center. Castro tagged and scored the Cubs’ seventh run of the game. Castillo struck out swinging to end the inning.
Scott Feldman took the mound to start the eighth with a 7-0 lead. Feldman missed on his first offering to David Murphy then after the second pitch he called out the trainer. Feldman left the game shaking his hand, it appeared to be a cramp. James Russell replaced Feldman, recorded to quick outs then turned the game over to Rafael Dolis. Ian Kinsler flied out to center for the third out.
The Cubs made it 9-0 in the eighth. Starlin Castro reached on an infield single to second then trotted around the bases when Anthony Rizzo pulled a 3-1 pitch from Derek Lowe into the bleachers in right. Rizzo’s ninth longball of the season made it 9-0 Cubs. Lowe retired Soriano, Schierholtz and Castillo in order to end the inning.
Rafael Dolis stayed in for the ninth and the Rangers broke up the shut out.
Elvis Andrus doubled to left to start the ninth. Adrian Beltre then pulled a 0-2 pitch toward third. Luis Valbuena fielded the ball but airmailed his throw to first. Andrus scored and Beltre ended up at second on the error. Nelson Cruz grounded out to third and Mitch Moreland grounded out to second.
Geovany Soto collected his second hit of the night and first RBI of the season with a single to center. David Murphy grounded out to Castro to end the game.
The Cubs open a two-game series with the Cardinals on Tuesday night … Travis Wood versus Lance Lynn in game one.