ARLINGTON -- Every time he stepped up to the plate, cameras flashed throughout the stadium as fans hoped to catch a glimpse of history. It was an opportunity to see just the fifth man ever to join the 600-home run club. But, there was nothing to catch. Sammy Sosa never connected against his former team as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a flyout to center field. "I'm an aggressive guy," Sosa said. "I'm not a guy who swings like a girl. I'm going to swing. I've been striking out all my life. What, I can't strike out now?" Sosa wasn't the only one to swing and miss. The Rangers (26-44) combined for 13 strikeouts Tuesday night as they fell to the Chicago Cubs (32-37), 5-4, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
"They got a lot of live arms," catcher Gerald Laird said, "and some really good stuff." The 38,290 fans also seemed partial towards the Cubs in their first regular-season game in Arlington. "It's nothing new," Laird said. "It's just like when the Yankees or other big teams come to town. We got to try and get our fans behind us and play baseball." Texas starter Robinson Tejeda went five innings, allowing eight hits, four runs (two earned) in a no-decision. "I think it was a good game, I was aggressive with my pitches," Tejeda said. "I wasn't thinking I lost command. I tried to keep the ball down, not up, because I didn't want to leave an easy pitch." Tejeda said he changed his approach, going after hitters with his breaking ball first, not his fastball. "I went a different direction," he said. "I didn't want to give an easy fastball." Manager Ron Washington said he thought Tejeda only had command during the first two innings. "He struggled in the fourth with command and in the fifth," Washington said. "He was one batter away in the fifth from me taking him out. But, I kept him out there and gave him a chance to fight. You got to let them stay out there and become men."
Tejeda (5-7, 6.29 ERA) did just that, escaping the fifth inning allowing no runs after the bases were loaded."He fell behind [in the count] a little bit," Laird said. "Other than that, he threw the ball well." Laird had a costly error in the third inning. He fumbled a ball from an Alfonso Soriano swinging bunt, which kept the third inning alive for the Cubs, as they scored two unearned runs. "I just dropped it," Laird said. "I make that play nine out of 10 times. I knew I had time, I just didn't make the play." The Cubs capitalized when Felix Pie's triple off the right-field wall drove in two runs to give Chicago the lead, 2-1. Ian Kinsler carried the Rangers' offense with two home runs, a solo blast in the first and a two-run shot in the fifth to tie the game at 4. It was his first multi-homer game of the season. "It's no fun losing when you feel like you did everything you can," Kinsler said. "I'll take it as a personal positive and try to come out tomorrow and win a game." Brad Wilkerson also went deep off Cubs starter Sean Marshall in the third inning. But, it wasn't enough. In the sixth, the Cubs took the lead, 5-4, when Derrek Lee doubled off the left-field wall to score Mike Fontenot. Then, Chicago's bullpen closed the game. Cubs relievers retired the last 15 Rangers batters, striking out nine, including the final four. Marshall (3-2, 2.84) lasted four-plus innings, before Carlos Marmol relieved him. Marmol went three perfect innings with five strikeouts. "He's got good stuff," Laird said. "He's got good velocity with his fastball and good offspeed stuff." Bob Howry and Ryan Dempster finished the game for the Cubs. "I think when they brought in the bullpen, they played well," Washington said. "They didn't give us an opportunity to hit anything." While the fans wanted to see Slammin' Sammy go deep, the Cubs pitching staff wouldn't allow it. "They pitched me great," Sosa said. "They pitched me confidently and didn't make a mistake. You have to give them credit and be ready for tomorrow."
Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.