The Cubs defeated the Rangers 5-4 for the 2nd game in a row and the Cubs won a big road series over the 1st place team in the AL West. The Cubs struck early and often – getting 4 runs off C.J. Wilson in the 1st inning. Derrek Lee had an RBI single, Marlon Byrd had an RBI groundout and Alfonso Soriano knocked in the final 2 runs of the inning with his 9th HR of the season. The Cubs went into a shell for most of the rest of the game, but Koyie Hill’s RBI single in the 6th inning helped extend the Cubs lead to 5-3. That proved to be a big run as the Rangers cut the lead to 5-4 with Michael Young’s RBI double in the 7th inning.
Carlos Silva picked up his 6th win of the season by tossing 5 1/3 innings of 1-run ball. Bob Howry made his 1st appearance since being acquired last week off the waiver wire and did not look so hot. He came in to the game in the bottom of the 7th inning to try to work out of John Grabow’s 2 on, 1-out jam. But Howry gave up an RBI double to Young, got Ian Kinsler to pop out and then intentionally walked Vladimr Guerrero and then gave way to Sean Marshall to quell the threat. Marshall has proven invaluable out of the pen as he induced Josh Hamilton to line out to 2nd base to preserve the 1-run lead. And although he walked a batter in the 8th inning, he got out of the jam with 2 K’s and kept the lead at 1 for closer Carlos Marmol. Marmol worked a scoreless 9th inning with 3 K’s and 1 walk to pick up his 9th save of the season.
The Cubs are trying desperately to get back to .500. A successful 3-2 road trip against division leaders helped a lot. Now they need to keep that momentum going against the red hot Dodgers and the 1st place Cardinals this week at Wrigley Field.