Cubs 5, Rangers 4

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hero: Sean Marshall entered in the bottom of the seventh with the Cubs clinging to a one-run lead, the bases loaded, and two outs. He escaped a mess that was created by John Grabow and Bob Howry, retiring Josh Hamilton on a soft liner to second baseman Ryan Theriot. Marshall also worked a hitless eighth while striking out two and lowering his ERA to 1.93. Marshall is 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA and has allowed just two hits while striking out 12 in 10 innings this month.

Goats: Grabow and Howry nearly coughed up a 5-3 Cubs lead in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Grabow surrendered a single to Julio Borbon and walked Elvis Andrus. Howry entered and promptly gave up an RBI double to Michael Young.

Key Play: With second and third and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Texas' Ian Kinsler, facing Howry, popped out to Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee.

Comment: Carlos Silva became the first pitcher in the majors this season with a 6-0 record after allowing three runs and six hits while walking one and striking out one in 5 1/3 innings. Once again Silva was not flashy, but he keeps on winning. He's provided the Cubs with quite a return for Milton Bradley.

Silva is the first Cubs starting pitcher to begin a season 6-0 since left-hander Ken Holtzman went 9-0 in 12 starts in 1967. Holtzman, then just 21 and in his second full big league season, was 5-0 in eight starts before being called to a six-month tour of duty with the Illinois National Guard on May 20. He was also able to win all four starts he made for the Cubs in August and September while on weekend passes.

Next: After an off day Monday, the Cubs (21-24) will return to Wrigley Field and host Los Angeles on Tuesday (CSN, 7:05 p.m.) to open a huge six-game homestand that concludes with three against first-place St. Louis. On Tuesday, Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.73 ERA) will try for his first victory since April 23. In his five starts since, Dempster is 0-4 with a 4.63 ERA. Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 3.23), a big 22-year-old left-hander, will counter for the Dodgers.

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