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Thursday, April 18, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 6, Rangers 2

By Sahadev Sharma | Special to ESPNDallas.com



CHICAGO -- The Texas Rangers (9-6) fell 6-2 to the Chicago Cubs (5-9) to split what ended up being a two-game series after Wednesday's rainout. The Cubs got to Alexi Ogando early, with Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano delivering back-to-back home runs in a four-run third inning. Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva was strong for his third consecutive start, holding the Rangers to only two runs. Yu Darvish is scheduled to get the start Friday for the Rangers when they return home to open up a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners.

Inefficient Ogando: Ogando has struggled with high pitch counts early on in the season and Thursday was no exception. Ogando was able to work through his issues with minimal issues in his previous outings, but he couldn't find the same magic against the Cubs. He walked Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro in his first two plate on eight straight pitches. Castro came into the game with no walks in 58 plate appearances. The real damage was done on back-to back-home runs by Rizzo and Soriano in a four-run third. Ogando gave up multiple runs in an outing for the first time this season.

Bats struggle: Entering the day, the Rangers were 12th in the AL in runs scored, and they did little to improve their standing. Outside of a combined 4-for-7 from Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler (each had a single and a solo home run), the offense went a 0-for-21 with a walk against Cubs pitching.

Up next: The Rangers head back to Arlington for a three-game home stand against the Seattle Mariners. Yu Darvish heads to the mound on six days rest to face Joe Saunders at 7:05 p.m. Friday night on TXA-21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.