CHICAGO--Craig Gentry thought the catch might have been among the better ones he's ever made.
But for the Texas Rangers, Gentry's diving grab with two outs in the ninth was top of the charts as it smothered a late Chicago Cubs rally to preserve a 4-2 victory on Tuesday night.
"To get that final out was a little tough for us, but I was able to get a jump on it and catch it," Gentry said. "There was a big sigh of relief."
The Cubs had the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth and scored twice on closer Joe Nathan before Darwin Barney lined out to Gentry in center field.
Texas left-handed starter Derek Holland thought the catch was spectacular.
"It was amazing, the kid's a cat out there, he's fast and he tracks down everything," said Holland, who struck out six and allowed just two hits over seven scoreless innings on a frigid night at Wrigley Field. "As soon as it went out all I was thinking was this guy's going to get it."
Holland (1-1) allowed only one baserunner to reach scoring position in the opener of a three-game series, the season's first interleague matchup for either team.
"He's really been locked in, he's been using all his pitches and he's been keeping the ball down and he's been moving it around the zone," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The good thing about him is that he's getting three outs. Derek usually has trouble getting that third one, but we found a way to get it.
Rangers left fielder Jeff Baker went 2-for-4, including a fourth-inning double that scored Adrian Beltre.
Left-hander Travis Wood (1-1) had another solid outing, giving up two runs in 7 1/3 innings as the Cubs lost their third straight. Wood allowed five hits and three walks, and he struck out three.
"So far I've been able to have some pretty good outings, but that's not the important thing," Wood said. "The important thing is the team and we're there every game, but we've got to figure out what we need to do win these ballgames."
Texas scored three times in the eighth, two off reliever Shawn Camp. Ian
Kinsler, who walked and reached third on Elvis Andrus' hit-and-run singlecame home when Camp tried to pick off Andrus at first but the throw went
awry for an error.
Andrus bolted for third, and he scored moments later when Beltre launched his second homer of the season for a 4-0 Rangers lead.
Nathan entered with two outs in the ninth after Michael Kirkman gave up a single to Starlin Castro and walked Anthony Rizzo.
Alfonso Soriano greeted Nathan with an infield single to load the bases for pinch hitter Nate Schierholtz, the potential tying run.
Schierholtz hit a two-run double, cutting the lead in half. Nathan loaded the bases again when he hit Welington Castillo with a pitch. Gentry then made a diving catch on Barney's liner, and Nathan earned his fifth save.
"That's about the way things are going right now," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "When they're going good that ball fall in and Castillo's able to score. It was (still) a great at-bat by Barney."
Barney, who was sidelined since spring training with an injury, was impressed with the Cubs ability to come back.
"We did a good job of putting an inning together there," he said. "We've been doing that this year putting together a rally in the ninth inning but it's time to start doing it a little earlier maybe."
Game-time temperature was 39 degrees. Forecasts call for slightly warmer
conditions and rain on Wednesday.
There were a noticeable increase in police presence outside Wrigley Field following Monday's Boston Marathon bombing. However, security procedures inside the park -- including bag and purse checks -- appeared routine as fans entered for the night game.
The Rangers pushed the game's first run across in the fourth inning when Beltre scored from third on Baker's two-out double.
Beltre had a leadoff double to the left field wall and reached third on a wild pitch. But that was it for scoring as Mitch Moreland lined to third baseman Alberto Gonzalez to close the inning.
Soriano clubbed a two-out double to left in the fourth and advanced to third on a wild pitch. But he was stranded there as Scott Hairston lined to a diving Andrus to close the inning.
The Cubs and Rangers saluted the legacy of African-American baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson in pregame ceremonies and also recognized retired great Ernie Banks and fellow Hall of Famer Billy Williams. Banks was the Cubs' first African-American player.
Robinson's No. 42 flew on more than 50 flagpoles atop Wrigley Field. Cubs players wore No. 42 home jerseys while the Rangers had blank No. 42 road jerseys.
NOTES: The Cubs announced a series of transactions Monday, including the return of Barney from the 15-day disabled list. They also added right-handed pitcher Kameron Loe to the 25-man roster and picked up the contract of right-handed pitcher Kevin Gregg. They designated left-handed pitcher Hisanori Takahashi for assignment while moving right-handed pitcher Rafael Dolis to Triple-A Iowa. Barney completed a three-game rehab stint at Iowa on Monday, hitting .500 (5-for-10) with a double and four runs scored. ... The Cubs separately claimed 37-year-old infielder Cody Ransom off waivers from San Diego and designated infielder Brent Lillibridge -- who batted .042 (1-for-24) in nine games -- for assignment. ... The Rangers also announced a deal Monday, sending left-handed pitcher Jeff Beliveau to Tampa Bay for cash considerations. ... The series marks the return of two former Chicago catching mainstays for the first time since leaving. Geovany Soto played for the Cubs from 2005 to 2012 while A.J. Pierzynski backstopped the White Sox for eight seasons. Pierzynski got the call to catch on Monday for the Rangers. ... Monday's game was the Rangers' first at Wrigley Field since June 18-20, 2002. The teams have met in only four series since interleague play began in 1997 ...Texas enters the game with a four-game winning streak against National League teams and is first among all major league teams in all-time interleague runs (1,503) scored ... Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman is no fan of Wrigley Field, its cramped conditions and Chicago's weather. He told the Ft. Worth Star Telegram that he'd volunteer "if they're looking for a guy to push the button when they blow the place up."