Scott Feldman pitched in from the plate as well in Cubs’ 9-2 win
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org May 6, 2013 11:29PM
Chicago Cubs' Scott Feldman hits an RBI single off Texas Rangers starting pitcher Nick Tepesch, scoring Luis Valbuena, with two outs in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 6, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Cubs pitcher Scott Feldman pitched--and hit--against his former team Monday night, leading the way in a 9-2 victory over the Texas Rangers at Wrigley Field.
Feldman (3-3) earned his second straight victory allowing only two hits through seven innings, leaving only because of a sudden cramp in his hand in the eighth.
``It was weird,’’ he said of the sudden cramp, that disappeared later--perhaps costing him his second straight complete game.
``I’m trying not to think about that,’’ he said with a smile. ``I’m just happy we won and we got a lot of runs.’’
He helped in that department, too, with a single in the Cubs’ five-run fourth inning, all the runs coming after two outs and no one on base.
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch (2-3) intentionally walked Darwin Barney after Luis Valbuena doubled.
``Anyone in baseball would do that to get to the pitcher,’’ Feldman said. ``I was just trying to get a hit, or at least be a tough out. Luckily I was able to find a hole.’’
Feldman drove in Valbuena and then later scored on Starlin Castro’s single.
The big inning was exactly what the Cubs had been missing most of the season, general manager Jed Hoyer said before the game.
The nine runs were the most scored by the Cubs this season and the five-run inning their highest as well.
``We haven’t had one,’’ manager Dale Sveum said of the lopsided victory that ended a four-game skid. ``No one on and two outs and we have our big inning. It was nice to finally put up a crooked number to separate the game.’’
Sveum was as happy about Feldman’s second straight masterful outing, coming after his first career complete game victory over the San Diego Padres.
``He was really, really good again,’’ Sveum said. ``He’s had two very impressive outings. He has the feel for that cutter now.’’
Feldman allowed only two hits against the team he had played for the last eight years.
``I tried to relax, but I know a lot of them and respect them and made a lot of friends there,’’ he said. ``But on a night like tonight, I just wanted to get them out.’’
Feldmam’s second at-bat in the fifth came with two men on base again--including a second intentional walk to Barney--and when the crowd of 32,618 cheered, he thought it was for him.
Instead, the right field board had just shown the Bulls victory score over the Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs.
``I thought I was getting a standing ovation,’’ he said, laughing. ``[Clubhouse manager Tom Hellmann burst my bubble when I came in and said `it was for the Bulls.’ I thought it was because I was raking.’’
Others in the Cubs offense were doing that, including Anthony Rizzo (3-for-4, four RBI, two-run homer) and Valbuena (3-for-4).
``Those runs made my job a lot easier,’’ Feldman said.
Monday’s game was a make-up of the April 17 rainout between the interleague teams. The outcome gave the Cubs 2-1 series victory, including a win on April 18.
The Rangers headed to Milwaukee to play the Brewers afterward.
The Cubs led from the first when they scored an unearned run after David DeJesus singled, stole second and took third on ex-Cubs catcher Geovany Soto’s throwing error. DeJesus scored on Alfonso Soriano’s ground out.
The Cubs had two errors, including Valbuena’s throwing error on Adrian Beltre’s ground ball that led to the first Rangers’ run in the ninth. Beltre later scored on Soto’s single.