ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) ó Pinch-hitters Kenny Lofton and Frank Catalanotto singled off the gloves of diving Cubs outfielders in the bottom of the ninth inning, producing the winning run in the Texas Rangersí 6-5 victory over Chicago on Thursday.
Catalanotto hit a one-out liner down the right-field line that Angel Pagan nearly caught, sending Lofton home with the winning run.
Lofton started the rally off Bob Howry (3-4) with a leadoff pinch-hit single, a sinking liner to left that Alfonso Soriano hauled in after a diving attempt but couldnít hold onto when he hit the ground. Adam Melhuse, who had homered earlier, then had a sacrifice bunt.
The speedy Lofton was almost out again, caught between second and third base after Brad Wilkersonís comebacker. But Howry, after running toward Lofton, waited too late to make his throw to shortstop Cesar Izturis and Lofton slid safely headfirst back into second base.
Eric Gagne (2-0), the fifth Rangers pitcher, walked one in his scoreless inning.
Cubs starter Ted Lilly struck out 10 and walked one in his seven innings, finishing strong after a couple of shaky frames. Derrek Lee, getting a game as the designated hitter, was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Victor Diaz and Melhuse had back-to-back homers in the second to put the Rangers up 3-0, and Marlon Byrd added a two-run single in the third. But Lilly faced the minimum 14 batters after that and struck out the side in the seventh before coming out after 104 pitches.
With Sammy Sosa getting a break the day after hitting his 600th career homer against his former team, Diaz was the designated hitter. His ninth homer was a two-run shot that barely cleared the right-field wall, and Melhuse hit his first since being acquired from Oakland on June 9.
After stranding seven runners on base without a run the first three innings, the Cubs started the fifth with six straight hits off Vicente Padilla that got them within 5-4.
Mike Fontenot had a leadoff double and scored when Lee had the first of five straight singles. Mark DeRosa, Rob Bowen and Pagan also had run-producing hits before Willie Eyre, whose older brother is a Cubs reliever, got out of the jam with two groundballs.
But the Cubs got even in the sixth when Soriano had a leadoff double off Eyre, and scored on another single by Lee.