CHICAGO – Ninth-place hitter Bubba Thompson had a triple, double and two RBIs, and the Texas Rangers ripped the Chicago Cubs 8-2 on Sunday to end a two-game slide.
Leadoff man Marcus Semien doubled among two hits and drove in three runs as the Rangers rebounded from an error-filled 10-3 loss on Saturday to salvage the final game of a three-game set at Wrigley Field. Corey Seager and Travis Jankowski each knocked in a run with a double, and Jonah Heim had two hits.
“You know, coming off probably our worst game of the year – well no question about that – but to bounce back is really what the game is about,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. “You gotta’ be resilient because you’re going to have your rough days.”
The Rangers got a big boost from the bottom of their batting order.
Thompson appeared in his third game and entered with just one hit, a double, in three previous at bats. The fleet center fielder – who Bochy says has “game-changing speed” — also scored twice in this one and reached on an error.
Jankowski, hitting eighth, played in just his fourth game and notched his first extra-base hit since 2021.
“Oh man, what a job they did picking us up,” Bochy said. “Both of them had really good, well-played games on both sides.”
Thompson says he’s ready whenever the Rangers need him.
“I believe I can play up here,” Thompson said. “And then when I get a shot, you know, I do the little things to help my team win. Any way they need me, that’s what I’m gonna’ do.”
Edwin Rios cracked a two-run homer, his first hit in three games with the Cubs this season after signing as a free agent in February. That was the only scoring off Texas starter Jon Gray (1-1), who scattered six hits in 5 2/3 innings for the win.
Relievers Will Smith, Cole Ragans and José Leclerc followed with 3 1/3 scoreless, one-hit innings.
Jameson Taillon (0-2) allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits in five innings in his second start with Chicago after signing a four-year contract in free agency. The right-hander struck out seven and walked only one, but was hurt by some soft, well-placed Texas hits and two Cubs errors as Chicago’s three-game winning streak ended.
“We make those types of plays, the game goes differently,” Chicago manager David Ross said. “We’ve got to play a little cleaner and held J-Mo (Taillon) out.”
The Rangers took a 4-0 lead in the second.
Jankwoski drove in the first run with a ground-rule double. Heim scored to make it 2-0 when third-baseman Nick Madrigal snared Thompson’s smash but threw wide of first.
Semien capped the rally with a bloop double to right that dropped in off Trey Mancini’s glove.
Rios’ shot to the batter’s eye in center in the bottom half cut it to 4-2.
The Rangers added another unearned run in the fourth, upping their lead to 5-2. Jankowski reached on first baseman Eric Hosmer’s fielding error then scored on Thompson’s soft double down the left-field line.
Texas tacked on three more runs against reliever Javier Assad in the sixth, scoring on Thompson’s triple, Semien’s single and Seager’s double.
Rangers: Assigned RHP Josh Sborz (left ankle sprain) to Triple-A Round Rock for a rehab assignment.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (shoulder strain) is slated to throw live batting practice again at the team’s facility in Arizona on Monday. Hendricks hasn’t pitched in a major league game since July 5. … OF Seiya Suzuki (left oblique strain) and LHP Brandon Hughes (left knee inflammation) were set for additionl rehab appearances with Triple-A Iowa.
Rangers: LHP Andrew Heaney (0-1, 23.63) starts against Kansas City RHP Zack Greinke (0-2, 2.38) in Arlington on Monday.
Cubs: LHP Drew Smyly (0-1, 11.75) faces Seattle RHP Luis Castillo (1-0, 0.00) on Monday at Wrigley Field.