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Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Rangers 4

3/19/2013

MESA, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers (12-12-2) saw their two-game winning streak come to an end after losing 5-4 to the Chicago Cubs (12-14) on Tuesday at HoHoKam Stadium. Starter Alexi Ogando allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out three in five innings of work. He gave up two home runs, including a two-run shot by Alfonso Soriano in the Cubs' three-run first inning.

What it means: Texas dropped back to .500 and missed a chance to equal a spring high with its third consecutive victory.

Long memories: It doesn't matter that Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski is no longer wearing the uniform of the Cubs' cross-town rival Chicago White Sox. Cubs fans at HoHoKam Stadium still greeted Pierzynski, who played eight seasons in Chicago, with a round of boos when he walked toward the batter's box for his first at-bat. Pierzynski responding with an RBI double to get the last laugh. He caught heat from the Northsiders in the second inning after committing an error, which they let him know about.

Tons of runs: The Rangers scored two runs in the top of the first inning to jump out to an early lead. The Cubs answered by putting up three of their own in the bottom of the frame, including a monster two-run shot by Soriano that cleared the grassy area in left field and landed in the parking lot.

Holland's return: LHP Derek Holland allowed five runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings against Tucson in a minor-league start for Round Rock (AAA).

Nathan's numbers: Closer Joe Nathan pitched two scoreless innings in a game with High-A Myrtle Beach and allowed one hit and no walks while striking out four. He threw 35 pitches, 22 for strikes.

Model citizen: Outfielder Leonys Martin entered the game in the sixth inning and played center field. Martin missed Monday's game to return to Miami, where he was granted his U.S. citizenship.

Impressive newcomer: RHP reliever Coty Woods pitched a scoreless seventh inning, building off what has been an impressive spring for the Rule-5 pickup. Woods has not been overwhelmed despite attending his first major league camp and has allowed two runs and nine hits with nine strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. The 25-year old has been one of the bright spots among right-handers out of the bullpen.

What's next? The Rangers are off Wednesday and return to action Thursday night to host the Los Angeles Angels at 8:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium. The game can be heard live on ESPN 103.3 FM and seen on TXA21. RHP Derek Lowe (1-0, 0.00) is the scheduled starter for Texas. Los Angeles is yet to name its starter.