Offense On Villanueva’s Side As Cubs Power Past Rangers 6-2
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CHICAGO (AP) — Alfonso Soriano hit his first home run of the season, Anthony Rizzo also homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 Thursday at a soggy Wrigley Field.
Despite torrential rains that caused citywide floods, the teams were able to play in an occasional drizzle. The Cubs and Texas were rained out Wednesday.
Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the third inning and Soriano followed with a shot that gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead against Alexi Ogando (2-1). Soriano’s homer accounted for his first RBI of the season.
Welington Castillo added a career-high four hits as Chicago ended its three-game losing streak.
After watching the bullpen squander leads in his two starts against Atlanta and San Francisco, Carlos Villanueva (1-0) pitched seven innings and gave up two runs and four hits while striking out six.
Ogando lasted only 2 1-3 innings, giving up five runs on six hits while walking two.
Before Thursday, Ogando had been 5-0 with a 1.88 ERA in eight career April starts.
The Cubs took the lead in the second. Nate Schierholtz doubled, Castillo singled and Luis Valbuena hit an RBI single.
Valbuena got two hits, drove in two runs and also made a diving play at third base on Elvis Andrus’ grounder in the seventh.
David DeJesus led off the Cubs’ third with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Starlin Castro walked, Rizzo hit his fourth homer and Soriano followed with a drive. One batter later, Ogando was replaced by Derek Lowe.
Castro drew his first two walks of the season. He extended his hitting streak to 10 with a one-out double in the sixth.
Ian Kinsler led off the Texas fourth with a home run. Chicago regained its five-run lead in the bottom half when Valbuena doubled home Castillo.
Nelson Cruz homered with two outs in the seventh for Texas, which was held to four hits and ended its six-game road trip 3-3.
Cruz and Kinsler each had two hits.
James Russell threw an inning of scoreless relief in the eighth for the Cubs. His father, Jeff, is the Rangers’ all-time leader in relief appearances with 406.
Former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol pitched a perfect ninth in a non-save situation.
NOTES: Castro has 10 hitting streak of at least 10 games since the start of the 2011 season. Cubs RHP Matt Garza was expected to make a rehab start Friday at Single-A Kane County. But because of weather conditions, he will instead throw a 35-pitch simulated game in Milwaukee. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Garza then will likely throw for Double-A Tennessee. … Jeff Samardzija is expected to start Friday for the Cubs in Milwaukee vs Marco Estrada. Yu Darvish is set to match up with Seattle’s Joe Saunders. … The teams did not announce a makeup date for Wednesday’s rainout. … Cubs reliever Hisanori Takahashi cleared waivers and will be assigned to Triple-A Iowa. Takahashi was designated for assignment on Tuesday.
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