Cubs down Rangers, 9-2

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CHICAGO — Ron Washington tried to warn rookie pitcher Nick Tepesch about Scott Feldman’s bat.

Feldman threw seven scoreless innings against his former team and also hit an RBI single in the Chicago Cubs’ 9-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

Feldman (3-3) allowed two hits, struck out three and walked one, and also hit an RBI single in the fourth for a 2-0 lead. The hit followed an intentional walk to Darwin Barney, who was hitless in his previous 17 at-bats.

Washington made a mound visit before the Feldman at-bat.

“I was just letting him know that this guy can hit a little bit and not to give in,” the Texas manager said. “Feldman got him.”

Feldman entered with a .138 career batting average (4 for 39).

“He is a pretty decent hitter,” Tepesch said. “I didn’t get the pitch where I wanted it.”

Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo hit consecutive two-run singles later in the inning.

Feldman has won three straight starts after losing his first three with the Cubs.

He signed a $6 million, one-year contract with Chicago during the offseason after going 39-44 with a 4.81 ERA in parts of eight seasons with Texas.

“I tried to just relax out there and everything, but obviously I know a lot of those guys and I’ve got a lot of respect for them,” Feldman said. “I had a great seven or eight years over there and made some good friends. When we’re not playing against them I hope they do good. But on a night like tonight, definitely want to try to get them out.”

After he threw a 2-0 pitch in the eighth to David Murphy, Feldman left with a cramp in his right hand. Feldman began to feel the cramp during his warmup tosses and tried to get through the inning. But two pitches in, he knew his night was over.

“I think I had a lot of pitches anyway,” said Feldman, who had thrown 104, “so I was going to need some first-pitch outs maybe.”

Texas scored a pair of unearned runs in the ninth after a throwing error by third baseman Luis Valbuena. The Cubs have gone 68 games without a shutout since beating Colorado 5-0 on Aug. 26, their longest streak since going 75 games in a row without shutouts from May 15 until Aug. 6, 1999, according to STATS.

Rizzo had three hits, four RBIs and his ninth home run, and Castro scored three runs for the Cubs.

The Rangers’ Nick Tepesch (2-3) lost his second straight start, allowing six runs — five earned — six hits and four walks in four innings.

“He just didn’t have his sinker,” Washington said. “Usually has a good sinker working, just didn’t have it tonight. His breaking ball was little inconsistent. He was trying to get his fastball inside but he just couldn’t get it on the plate.”

Coming off a three-game sweep of Boston, Texas returned to Wrigley Field to make up an April 17 rainout between Chicago’s series against Cincinnati and St. Louis. The Cubs are hosting three teams in three days for the first time since Aug. 21-23, 1960.

Chicago went ahead with an unearned run in the first after David DeJesus singled, stole second and continued to third when the throw by former Cubs catcher Geovany Soto bounced into center field for an error. DeJesus scored when Alfonso Soriano beat shortstop Elvis Andrus’ relay throw and avoided what would have been an inning-ending double play.

Feldman singled to spark a five-run fourth after an intentional walk to walked Darwin Barney, who was hitless in his previous 17 at-bats.

“I just didn’t make a good pitch right there,” Tepesch said. “That was basically it.”

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