Chicago at Houston

Chi. Cubs
W: B. Backe (2-1) L: C. Bartosh (0-1)
HR: CHC - J. Dubois (3)   HOU - None

Wood exits game early as Cubs lose to Astros

CBS wire reports

HOUSTON -- Kerry Wood just can't shake the pain in his shoulder.

The Chicago Cubs ace left another start early, and Jeff Bagwell had three hits to help the Houston Astros end their longest losing streak in nearly three years with a 7-5 victory Saturday night.

"I felt great the first two innings. The second inning was the best I've thrown the ball this year, but in the third it just kind of crept up on me," Wood said.

He departed after only three innings because of tendinitis in his right shoulder, the same problem that cut short his previous start last Sunday. He will be examined by a doctor Monday in Chicago.

"It was the first time that I felt uncomfortable all night. I will know more Monday, but in my mind it is just tendinitis," Wood said. "It's hard to say whether or not I should shut it down for a couple of weeks."

Wood, also slowed by shoulder trouble during spring training, was pulled for a pinch-hitter after giving up three runs and four hits. He struck out six and walked two.

"He didn't complain at all. He had warmed up great, but he just didn't look right even though he had good velocity," Chicago manager Dusty Baker said. "We thought that it was best to take him out when we did."

Brandon Backe (2-1) pitched seven innings for the win and Brad Ausmus hit a two-run single for the Astros. Houston snapped a six-game losing streak, its longest since May 19-25, 2002.

"Brandon used a different way of pitching tonight," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "He threw a nice, soft sinker."

Backe gave up four runs and six hits, including pinch-hitter Jason Dubois' two-run homer. He struck out eight and walked two.

"I'm still learning how to pitch. Tonight I took something off of the sinker. I just laid it out there and tried to get ahead," Backe said. "After I gave up the home run I had to regroup."

Cliff Bartosh (0-1) was the loser. He allowed one run and two hits in two innings of relief.

Willy Taveras gave Houston a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning when he doubled in Ausmus.

Houston increased its lead to 7-3 in the seventh when Bagwell walked and moved to third on a double by Mike Lamb. After an intentional walk to Jose Vizcaino, Bagwell scored on Jason Lane's groundout. Ausmus drove in Lamb and Vizcaino with a bases-loaded single.

The Cubs cut the deficit to 7-5 in the eighth on an RBI single by Derrek Lee and a sacrifice fly by Jeromy Burnitz.

In the second inning, Taveras easily threw out Burnitz at the plate when he attempted to score from second on a single by Michael Barrett.

"I just charged the ball hard and tried to be quick to save a run," Taveras said. "I've never done that in two straight games before."

It was the second consecutive game in which Taveras has thrown out a runner at the plate.

"I thought that play at the plate by Willy changed the complexion of the game. You don't see that happen two games in a row, and especially here with that big center field," Garner said.

Houston took a 3-0 lead in the first. Taveras led off with a walk and scored on a single by Bagwell. Lamb had an RBI triple, and Vizcaino drove in Lamb with a single.

Chicago tied it at 3 in the fourth on Barrett's RBI single and Dubois' homer.


  • Garner celebrated his 56th birthday.
  • Houston relievers have allowed only three home runs this season.
  • Lee extended his hitting streak to 12 games, tying his career best.
  • Dubois' homer was the first by a Cubs pinch-hitter since May 28, 2004, when Barrett connected in Pittsburgh.
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Kerry Wood has a short day on the mound again as shoulder trouble forces him to leave early. (AP)
Kerry Wood has a short day on the mound again as shoulder trouble forces him to leave early. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Bagwell
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0

B. Backe
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 4
BB 2
K 8

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B4000010 .254
   a- Ben Grieve, PH1000010 .400
Neifi Perez, SS3110100 .368
Corey Patterson, CF4110011 .284
Derrek Lee, 1B4011022 .419
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000010 .241
Jeromy Burnitz, RF2111110 .299
Todd Hollandsworth, LF4010002 .250
Michael Barrett, C4121001 .225
Kerry Wood, P1000012 .125
   b- Jason Dubois, PH1112000 .346
    Cliff Bartosh, P00000001.000
    Mike Remlinger, P0000000 .000
   c- Ronny Cedeno, PH1000010 .200
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Roberto Novoa, P0000000 .000
   d- Jose Macias, PH1000000 .182
a-struck out for Hairston in the 9th
b-homered for Wood in the 4th
c-struck out for Remlinger in the 7th
d-grounded out for Novoa in the 9th
2B - Jeromy Burnitz (7, Backe)
HR - Jason Dubois (3, Backe)
SF - Jeromy Burnitz (3)
RBI - Derrek Lee (28), Jeromy Burnitz (17), Michael Barrett (9), Jason Dubois 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Barrett (4), Jason Dubois 2 (7)
Team LOB - 5
Chicago Cubs
Kerry Wood 3433260 6.15
Cliff Bartosh (L,0-1) 2211140 2.79
Mike Remlinger 1100010 5.87
Michael Wuertz 1233300 4.38
Roberto Novoa 1100010 3.38
IBB - Vizcaino by Michael Wuertz, by Ensberg
Pitches-Strikes - Kerry Wood 54-34, Cliff Bartosh 37-24, Mike Remlinger 10-7, Michael Wuertz 30-11, Roberto Novoa 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kerry Wood 2-1, Cliff Bartosh 1-1, Mike Remlinger 1-1, Michael Wuertz 1-2, Roberto Novoa 1-1
Batters Faced - Kerry Wood 15, Cliff Bartosh 9, Mike Remlinger 4, Michael Wuertz 8, Roberto Novoa 4
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF4111131 .267
Craig Biggio, 2B5000021 .265
    Eric Bruntlett, 2B0000000 .000
Jeff Bagwell, 1B4231100 .263
Mike Lamb, LF4221112 .243
Jose Vizcaino, SS3111112 .313
Jason Lane, RF4011022 .295
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3000112 .246
Brad Ausmus, C3122112 .231
Brandon Backe, P2000012 .375
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
2B - Willy Taveras (2, Bartosh), Mike Lamb (4, Wuertz), Jason Lane (9, Wood)
3B - Mike Lamb (3, Wood)
SH - Brandon Backe 2 (2)
RBI - Willy Taveras (8), Jeff Bagwell (13), Mike Lamb (5), Jose Vizcaino (3), Jason Lane (13), Brad Ausmus 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Willy Taveras (3), Brad Ausmus 2 (3)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Willy Taveras 1
E - Craig Biggio (3, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe (W,2-1) 7644281 5.93
Chad Qualls 2211010 2.57
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 105-71, Chad Qualls 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 5-8, Chad Qualls 4-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 29, Chad Qualls 8
Game Information
Attendance - 41615
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Lazaro Diaz, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Rob Drake