Cubs’ rally in 9th falls short vs. Rangers, A.J. Pierzynski
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org April 16, 2013 10:06PM
Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Shawn Camp returns to the mound after giving up a two-run home run to Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre, background, which also scored Elvis Andrus, during the eighth inning of a interleague baseball game, Tuesday, April 16 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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Updated: April 16, 2013 11:50PM
For all the talk of Wrigley Field renovations, the first thing former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski noticed Tuesday was something from the past — the ‘‘AC’’ sign on a Sheffield Avenue rooftop noting how long the Cubs have gone without a World Series championship.
‘‘I’m just happy they put the sign back up in right center field,’’ Pierzynski said. ‘‘I’m not going to lie. They took it down [last year] and I was really disappointed because I always liked looking at that sign. That was my favorite sign.’’
Pierzynski and the Rangers found their view even better after surviving a ninth-inning rally by the Cubs, giving them a 4-2 win in the first interleague series of the season.
The Cubs scored two in the ninth on a bases-loaded, two-out double by pinch hitter Nate Schierholtz off closer Joe Nathan. They had the bases loaded again when Darwin Barney hit a sinking line drive to center that was caught by Craig Gentry to end the game.
Rangers starter Derek Holland (1-1) held the Cubs to two hits through seven innings. Cubs starter Travis Wood (1-1) was charged with two runs through 71/3, though the second of those came when reliever Shawn Camp’s throwing error to first allowed Ian Kinsler to score in the eighth. Camp then gave up a two-run homer to Adrian Beltre.
The series is a homecoming for Pierzynski and former Cubs catcher Geovany Soto, who was dealt to the Rangers at the trade deadline last season in the middle of a game.
‘‘It feels great seeing old faces and being here,’’ Soto said. ‘‘It’s a pretty special place. It feels good.’’
Pierzynski signed with the Rangers as a free agent after the season, ending eight years with the Sox.
‘‘We laughed about some of the things that happened [during the Cubs-Sox series], but we haven’t rehashed it a lot,’’ Pierzynski said. ‘‘But Geo has a lot of good memories about Wrigley and being here.’’
Pierzynski has his own history. He hit .303 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games at Wrigley.
‘‘It was special when you were on the White Sox side, and especially when I got here, the Cubs were really good,’’ he said. ‘‘And when both of us were really good, it was really fun to play in those games.’’
Pierzynski is the Rangers’ main catcher, but he and Soto said they are working well together. Both say Wrigley Field is a favored place.
‘‘I think renovations are good anywhere, but this ballpark and what it represents — a 100-year-old stadium — it has a lot of tradition and history here,’’ Soto said. ‘‘You really can’t substitute that. I think it’s a really special place.’’