Big fourth dooms Rangers: The Cubs jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first, but it was a five-run fourth that sealed it for Chicago. The Cubs, having scored only 3.65 runs per game coming into Monday night -- 24th ranking in baseball -- managed to get to a normally strong Rangers pitching staff. The Cubs made two quick outs to start the fourth, but Nick Tepesch intentionally walked Darwin Barney following Luis Valbuena’s double to get to Cubs pitcher Scott Feldman. Feldman knocked in Valbuena with a single. David DeJesus followed with a walk, then Starlin Castro knocked in a pair with a single. Anthony Rizzo capped off the scoring with a two-run single to give the Cubs their highest scoring inning of the season.
Tepesch struggles: Tepesch had his worst outing in the big leagues, lasting only four innings, giving up six hits and six runs (five earned), striking out four and walking four. It was the two-out damage in the fourth that really burned Tepesch and the Rangers, as he failed to retire Feldman with two down and two out in the inning.
Feldman dominates: Not only did Feldman deliver the key hit at the plate, he delivered his second consecutive dominant performance on the mound. Feldman followed up his complete game last week against the San Diego Padres with seven shutout innings against the Rangers. Feldman, who had spent his previous eight seasons in the big leagues with Texas, allowed only two hits and one walk, while striking out three and allowing no runs to shut down his former team.
Offense a no-show: The Rangers managed only two runs, both of which didn't come until the ninth, when the team already found themselves in a 9-0 hole. The offense has been inconsistent this season, putting up 4.42 runs per game, good for eighth in the AL. While that’s not a terrible ranking, it’s a far cry from what they had done the past three seasons, ranking first, third and fourth in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. It’s still early and the Rangers are loaded with talented hitters, but manager Ron Washington surely would love to see his veteran bats pick up the slack when a youngster like Tepesch or Justin Grimm inevitably hit road bumps.
Up next: The Rangers start a two-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. A pair of rookies take the mound as Justin Grimm (2-1, 2.28) and Wily Peralta (2-2, 6.00) face off. First pitch at Miller Park is at 7:10 p.m. CT.