CHICAGO (AP) — Derek Holland pitched seven shutout innings, Adrian Beltre hit a two-run home run, and Craig Gentry made a diving catch in the ninth to end the game and preserve the Texas Rangers’ 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night at a cold Wrigley Field.
Holland (1-1) at one point retired nine straight against the Cubs, who have lost three straight games. The Rangers left-hander struck out six and allowed two hits.
Beltre’s home run off Cubs reliever Shawn Camp was his second of the year and gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead in the eighth. Chicago starter Travis Wood (1-1) walked Ian Kinsler and was then relieved by Camp, who allowed Elvis Andrus to single to right before throwing a pickoff attempt away, allowing Kinsler to score and make it 2-0.
Jeff Baker, who was with the Cubs from 2009-2012, was 2-for-4 and had an RBI double in the fourth to give Texas a 1-0 lead. The Rangers had scored 11 runs in their previous five games.
The Cubs scored twice with two outs in the ninth. Nate Schierholtz, pinch-hitting for Scott Hairston, doubled to left off the glove of a sliding Baker to drive in two runs. Texas closer Joe Nathan then hit Welington Castillo with a pitch to load the bases and put the winning run at first, but Gentry made a diving play on Darwin Barney’s liner for Nathan’s fifth save in five tries.
Wood gave up two runs and struck out three in 7 1-3 innings.
Once again, conditions at Wrigley Field were less than optimal. The first-pitch temperature was 39 degrees with the wind blowing in from right field. A light rain also came and went during the fourth.
The weather didn’t seem to bother either starting pitcher.
Holland, who lost his previous start to Tampa Bay despite giving up two earned runs in eight innings, was just as good Tuesday. He didn’t allow a Cubs runner to reach third base until Alfonso Soriano got there on a wild pitch after doubling in the fourth.
Holland also got the most run support he has all season. Before Tuesday, he had gotten two runs of support while giving up four in 15 innings of work.
Like Holland, Wood has been plagued by poor run support. With Wood on the mound, the Cubs had scored two runs over two starts.
Camp’s struggles continued for the Cubs. One outing after blowing a save Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, Camp pitched one-third of an inning and was charged with two runs.
Tuesday’s game was also a reunion for the Rangers’ catchers.
A.J. Pierzynski, who spent eight years with the Chicago White Sox, was greeted with loud boos before each of his at-bats. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Backup Geovany Soto, who spent parts of six seasons with the Cubs and won the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year award, didn’t play for Texas.
After Anthony Rizzo’s infield single with two outs in the first, Holland retired nine straight Cubs until a Soriano’s two-out double in the fourth. The Cubs left fielder was stranded at third when Hairston lined out to short.
NOTES: The teams observed a moment of silence before Tuesday’s game for Monday’s bombings of the Boston Marathon. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein’s brother Paul finished the race an estimated 45 minutes before the explosions. . Barney made his season debut after coming off the 15-day disabled list, going 0-for-4. . Every player on both teams wore number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. Neither team played Monday, the 66th anniversary of Robinson breaking the MLB color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. . The expected pitching matchup Wednesday is the Rangers’ Justin Grimm against the Cubs’ Carlos Villanueva. . Rangers OF David Murphy was given the night off by manager Ron Washington. . Injured Cubs starter Matt Garza is expected to make a rehab appearance for Class A Kane County on Friday.
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