ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Carlos Silva became the first Cubs starter in 43 years to have a perfect record after six decisions, working into the sixth inning of Chicago's interleague series-clinching 5-4 victory over the AL West-leading Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer capped a four-run first that put Silva and the Cubs ahead to stay before the big right-hander had even thrown his first pitch.
Silva, who came to the Cubs in the offseason trade that sent Milton Bradley to Seattle, was done after 5 1-3 innings and 81 pitches. He allowed three runs and six hits on a hot, sunny day in Texas to improve to 6-0. Silva was relieved after Vladimir Guerrero's comebacker for an out to start the sixth.
Ken Holtzman went 9-0 in his 12 starts for the Cubs in 1967. The previous starting pitcher to begin his Chicago career by winning six consecutive decisions was Dizzy Dean in 1938.
C.J. Wilson (3-2) allowed five runs over 5 2-3 innings and lost for the first time in seven starts.
Carlos Marmol, the fourth Cubs reliever, earned his ninth save in 11 chances. The right-hander struck out three, including Michael Young and then Guerrero for the final out with a runner at second to get his second save in a row after Texas won the series opener 2-1.
Xavier Nady added what proved to be the decisive run for the Cubs with a gutsy headfirst slide in the sixth. He made it 5-3 when he lunged and reached his left arm between the legs of catcher Matt Treanor to slap the plate just before getting tagged by right fielder Nelson Cruz's strong throw after Koyie Hill's single.
Rangers manager Ron Washington came out to discuss the call with home plate umpire Jerry Meals. The manager then went to the mound and pulled Wilson, who struck out five and walked three.
Bob Howry, re-signed by the Cubs on Friday after being released by Arizona with a 10.67 ERA in 14 appearances, allowed an RBI double to Michael Young after coming on with two runners on in the seventh. Left-hander Sean Marshall got Josh Hamilton on an inning-ending liner with the bases loaded.
After Elvis Andrus had a leadoff single in the third, Young hit his fifth homer on the next pitch.
Cruz led off the fourth with the only walk from Silva, then scored on Julio Borbon's two-out single.
Chicago opened the game with three consecutive singles against Wilson. Starlin Castro, the 20-year-old rookie shortstop, beat out a bunt for an infield single before Derrek Lee's RBI single made it 1-0. Marlon Byrd then drove in a run with a groundout before Soriano hit his ninth homer of the season, his second two-run shot in two games.
NOTES: Young has 320 career doubles, matching Juan Gonzalez for third on the Rangers' list, one behind Rafael Palmeiro and 32 behind Ivan Rodriguez. ... Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez was out of the lineup again with recurring soreness between his left thumb and index finger. Ramirez had missed two games before being the DH on Saturday night, when he was 0 for 5 with four strikeouts. ... Wilson, the former reliever, had gone nearly 88 innings over 44 appearances without allowing a homer until two in the final inning of his previous start Tuesday. Then another in the first Sunday. ... The attendance for the three-game series was 122,900, the largest at Rangers Ballpark since the Yankees visited in July 2006.