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Cubs end four-game losing streak

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs missed a chance for their first shutout win, but they were just as pleased with their biggest offensive production of the season on Monday.

Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo were the catalysts as each collected a pair of RBIs in a decisive fourth inning as the Cubs beat the Texas Rangers 9-2 to halt a four-game losing streak.

Castro and Rizzo each had two-run singles in back-to-back plate appearances after two were out in the inning during the interleague makeup game.

"That fourth inning when we put up five runs, the two-out hits were nice," Rizzo said. "To do it without the home runs in that inning was nice, we haven't done that all year. And to get five or six straight two-out hits, that was good for our team and good for our momentum."

It was actually two walks and four hits after two were out, but it added up to a big two-out rally.

Rizzo went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and also clubbed his ninth homer of the season -- a two-run shot with Castro aboard -- in the eighth. Castro was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

Equally impressive was the performance of right-hander Scott Feldman (3-3) as he worked seven two-hit, shutout innings against his former club. Feldman has now won his last three starts.

The Rangers' three-game winning streak ended as right-hander Nick Tepesch (2-3) worked just four innings and took the loss.

"He just didn't have his sinker," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He usually has a good sinker working and his breaking ball was a little inconsistent. He was trying to get his fastball inside and he just couldn't get it over the plate."

Chicago led 6-0 after four innings and added a run in the seventh when Nate Schierholtz brought home Castro on a sacrifice fly.

Feldman departed after throwing two pitches in the eighth when a finger on his pitching hand stiffened. He gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out three in seven full innings of work.

"When I threw my last warmup pitch, my finger was getting stuck," said Feldman, who demonstrated he was fine by flexing his hand after the game. "I just tried to stretch it out and do a couple more throws and finally on my last one I realized it wasn't going to work and I came out."

Feldman missed a shot at a complete game, but knew that with an already high pitch count he wasn't likely to stay in much longer.

"He was really, really good again," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "And he got some really good offense too. It's really encouraging to see -- that's three or four really, really good outings. That cutter, he's got the feel for that thing right now, and it's just impressive, especially to go with his two-seamer. He didn't throw a whole lot of off-speed pitches tonight."

Left-hander James Russell came in and gave up an infield single, then got the next two outs on popups. Rafael Dolis, brought up from Triple-A Iowa earlier Monday, wrapped up the inning as Ian Kinsler flied out to center.

The Rangers scored twice in the ninth off Dolis. Elvis Andrus doubled to open the inning and scored when Cubs' third baseman Luis Valbuena's committed a throwing error on Adrian Beltre's grounder. Beltre advanced to second and scored on Geovany Soto's single to left.

The Cubs opened a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

David DeJesus led off with a single to center, stole second and reached third on a throwing error by Soto. He scored when Alfonso Soriano hit into a fielder's choice.

The Rangers' best chance to reply came in the top of the fourth when Nelson Cruz singled with two out, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error Cubs catcher Welington Castillo. The inning ended as Mitch Moreland grounded to second.

The Cubs then exploded for five more runs off Tepesch in the bottom of the fourth after two were retired.

With Valbuena at second and Darwin Barney at first, Feldman, a .091 hitter, helped his own cause with a single that scored Valbuena for a 2-0 lead.

Tepesch walked DeJesus to load the bases for Castro, who singled home Barney and Feldman. Rizzo then drove in DeJesus and Castro with a single to make it 6-0.

Tepesch's night was over after four innings. He gave up six hits and five earned runs, walked four and struck out four.

"It felt normal the whole night," Tepesch said. "It was just the fourth inning I didn't make the pitches, I didn't execute the pitches. (Against Feldman) I really didn't make a good pitch there and that was it."

NOTES: Monday's game was rescheduled after an April 17 rainout. ...The Cubs made a handful of roster moves on Monday, including two call ups from Triple-A Iowa. Ryan Sweeney and left-handed pitcher Dolis rejoined the club while the Cubs designated right-handed pitcher Kameron Loe for assignment and optioned outfielder Dave Sappelt to Iowa ... Monday's make-up game with the Rangers came on what was supposed to be an off-day. The game instead created a 21-game stretch without a break that started on April 18 and will end after Wednesday's game with the St. Louis Cardinals, who come to Chicago on Tuesday for a two-game series. ... Although the one-day return to Chicago cost the Rangers an off-day, they don't have to travel far for their next series. Texas will bus to Milwaukee for a pair of interleague games against the Brewers on Tuesday and Wednesday and then have Thursday off ... Monday's game was just the Rangers sixth ever at Wrigley Field. ... Left-handed pitcher Martin Perez was set to begin an injury rehab assignment on Monday at Double-A Frisco with a start at Midland, Texas. He opened the season on the disabled list after suffering a fractured left ulna in his arm.

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