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TEX@SEA: Grimm fans two over four against Mariners

Justin Grimm will try to build upon a decent but inefficient first outing when the Rangers play the second game of their three-game series against the Cubs on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field -- if he gets the chance.

The 24-year-old right-hander is scheduled to face off against the Cubs' Carlos Villanueva as Texas aims to clinch a series win. But with forecasts on Tuesday night calling for a 100 percent chance of rain, there is a distinct possibility the game could be washed out.

"We just have to wait and see on the weather," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Hopefully the forecast is wrong. I doubt it, but hopefully it is."

For his part, Grimm isn't getting too worked up about the situation.

"I just have to be ready when they hand me the ball," he said. "That's all I can do."

If and when he does get the ball, Grimm will seek to improve on his outing last Thursday against the Mariners. Pitching in place of the injured Matt Harrison, Grimm gave up only two runs.

But he also threw 92 pitches in four innings, surrendering five hits and three walks while striking out two. He survived by holding the Mariners to 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

"I just have to trust myself," Grimm said. "The first three innings I was battling myself more than their lineup. When I started to trust myself, that's when it started to happen. It's hard to make a living pitching that way. I have to be confident and go after hitters. That's when I'm at my best."

The Cubs are trying to turn things around after a slow start, but the changes the club made on Tuesday did not pay immediate dividends in the win column. Before its 4-2 loss, Chicago made a flurry of roster moves: Infielder Cody Ransom and relievers Kameron Loe and Kevin Gregg were added, while infielder Brent Lillibridge and reliever Hisanori Takahashi were designated for assignment, and reliever Rafael Dolis was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Tuesday's loss was the Cubs' third in a row, dropping them to 4-9.

"We're off to a slower start than we would've liked," president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said of the moves. "[There's been] some sloppy play that we need to eradicate sooner rather than later. The bullpen is off to a slow start, which can make for some tough losses. ... We're not that talented that we can get away with playing sloppy ball, so we need to fix that."

On Wednesday, Chicago will turn to righty Carlos Villanueva, who is winless despite notching a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings over his first two starts. Villanueva, in his first year with the Cubs, has seen the team's shaky bullpen blow leads for him in both outings.

Rangers: Murphy slated for return
• Struggling left fielder David Murphy had Tuesday off, but is expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday. He is hitting .160 in his first 13 games and is 1-for-12 over his past three.

Slow starts are nothing new for Murphy. His .232 career average and .681 OPS in March and April are easily his lowest of any month, followed by May. Washington believes he will figure things out.

"He's a battler," Washington said. "He's not the only one. We've got a few guys who need to come around. He has a record that shows he knows how to come around."

• With the series at Wrigley Field played under National League rules, designated hitter Lance Berkman won't be in the lineup on Wednesday, but he could appear as a pinch-hitter. His 23 plate appearances against Villanueva are 11 more than any other Rangers player, and he has produced two doubles and two home runs in those opportunities.

Cubs: Gregg back with former club
• General manager Jed Hoyer said the additions of Gregg and Loe were aimed at adding more experience to the back end of the bullpen. Gregg not only has pitched 10 years in the big leagues, but also knows his way around Wrigley Field, having played for the team in 2009.

The Cubs acquired Gregg in a trade with the Marlins the previous winter, and he went on to pitch in 72 games, although he struggled to a 4.72 ERA. He saved 23 games in 30 chances, with Carlos Marmol taking the closer's role later in the year.

"I really enjoyed my time here and I love the city of Chicago and I love the Cubs," Gregg said. "Being able to be a part of this organization, I just saw it as a good fit for me and my family."

• Second baseman Darwin Barney was activated from the disabled list and made his season debut on Tuesday. Barney, who was out with a cut on his knee, went 0-for-4, lining out to center field with the bases loaded to end the game.

Worth noting
• Rangers relievers had not allowed a run in their last 11 innings before Joe Nathan gave up a two-run double to Nate Schierholtz with two outs in Tuesday's ninth inning.

• Tuesday was the sixth straight game in which Texas scored no more than four runs.

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