Cubs 6, Rangers 2

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano and Anthony Rizzo each homered and Welington Castillo had his first career four-hit day, and the Chicago Cubs salvaged the finale of a rain-shortened interleague series with a 6-2 win Thursday over the Texas Rangers.

Castillo went 4-for-4 with a run scored and helped make a winner of Cubs right-hander Carlos Villanueva, who worked seven innings for his first win of the season. He gave up four hits, struck out six and walked one.

The Cubs opened the scoring in the second when Nate Schierholtz doubled off starter Alexi Ogando and scored on Luis Valbuena's one-out single.

David DeJesus led off the third with a triple to right and made it 2-0 when he scored on Ogando's wild pitch. Chicago then played long ball with back-to-back homers for the first time this season.

Starlin Castro reached on a walk and Rizzo sent a 2-1 pitch to right and nearly out of the park for his fourth homer of the season. Soriano followed with his first shot of the season and the Cubs led 5-0.

Ogando got the inning's first out when Schierholtz grounded to second, but couldn't survive the inning. He departed in favor of right-hander Derek Lowe having allowed five earned run on six hits, while walking two and striking out a pair.

The Rangers got a run back in the fourth on Ian Kinsler's leadoff homer to left, his fifth of the year.

Castillo made it 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth. He reached on an infield single and scored on Valbuena's double to right.

In the seventh, Texas right fielder Nelson Cruz homered to center with two out to trim Chicago's lead to 6-2.

Wednesday's game with the Rangers was rained out and severe weather continued to lash the Chicago area well through Thursday morning. Rainfall in excess of five inches in some areas led to serious flooding and road closures throughout the metropolitan area.

But Cubs officials saw a window to play early Thursday afternoon and radar indicated later storms could skirt Wrigley Field and Chicago's North Side long enough to get at least some innings in.

Uncertainty over the game's status resulted in the season's smallest Wrigley Field crowd to date. The Cubs announced 26,083 tickets sold, but there were only a few thousand fans on hand at first pitch, with empty center field bleachers and a handful of fans in the upper deck.

The Rangers return home Friday to open a three-game series with Seattle. The Cubs travel north to Milwaukee for three games, also beginning Friday.

Notes: Cubs righthander Matt Garza was originally scheduled for a Friday rehab start at the Cubs' Single-A Kane County affiliate, but poor conditions changed those plans. Garza instead will pitch a short simulated game in Milwaukee followed by a Double-A start. He remains on the disabled list retroactive to March 22 with a left lat strain ... The Cubs announced reliever Hisanori Takahashi cleared waivers and would be assigned outright to the team's Triple-A Iowa affiliate. Takahashi, 38, made three appearances with a 6.00 ERA ... Wednesday's postponement was the Rangers' first since Sept. 29, 2012 vs. the Angels in Arlington and first on the road since May 9, 2012 in Baltimore ... Adrian Beltre's Tuesday home run was his second of the season and 348th of his career, tying George Foster for 87th on the all-time list and is now just two behind Chili Davis.
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