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April 16, 2013

Rangers 4, Cubs 2 (F)

CHICAGO -- Derek Holland allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings, and Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Rangers needed a diving catch in the ninth by Craig Gentry to hang on for a 4-2 series-opening victory Tuesday at a chilly Wrigley Field.

The Rangers gave their bullpen some breathing room with a three-run eighth, an inning that started with them leading just 1-0. Ian Kinsler walked with one out and went to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run with Elvis Andrus.

A wild pickoff throw to first let Kinsler score, and Andrus jogged home on Beltre's second homer of the season.

But Michael Kirkman and Joe Nathan nearly blew the four-run lead.

Nathan was summoned with two outs after Kirkman retired the first two hitters but allowed a single to Starlin Castro and a walk to Anthony Rizzo.

Nathan got Alfonso Soriano to hit a weak grounder, but Elvis Andrus had no play and the bases were loaded. Pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz followed with a looper that hit off the glove of left fielder Jeff Baker for a two-run single that left runners at second and third.

Welington Castillo was next, and Nathan hit him on a two-strike pitch to load the bases. Darwin Barney, though, hit a looper to center field, and Gentry dived to catch it to end the game. 

Holland (1-1) benefited from the chilly conditions at Wrigley Field, where a steady wind was blowing in off Lake Michigan. But he needed 27 pitches to complete a scoreless first inning, and his pitch count sat at 85 entering the sixth.

Holland, who has opened the season with three straight quality starts, allowed only one Cubs runner to get as far as third base, Alfonso Soriano in the fourth inning after a two-out double and a wild pitch.

The Rangers didn't fare much better against Travis Wood, who entered with a 1.46 ERA and pitched out of trouble in the first and third before surrendering a leadoff double to Beltre in the fourth and Jeff Baker's RBI gapper with two outs.

But Wood was lifted after walking Kinsler in the eighth.

-- Jeff Wilson

 

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