Houston at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: G. Rusch (3-1) L: W. Rodriguez (0-1)
S: R. Dempster (3)
HR: HOU - B. Ausmus (1)   CHC - C. Patterson (9), J. Burnitz (7)

Cubs 4, Astros 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Corey Patterson's night started with a thud when he was flattened in an outfield collision with teammate Jeromy Burnitz.

Patterson then picked himself up Monday and did the same for the Chicago Cubs.

He went 3-for-3 with a go-ahead homer, and Burnitz also connected to back Glendon Rusch's strong pitching as Chicago sent the struggling Houston Astros to their sixth consecutive defeat, 4-1.

"Right at the last minute I called it, but it was just too late with the crowd going," Patterson said, referring to Willy Taveras' second-inning fly ball. "I got the worst of it. I'm OK, but I'll probably be sore tomorrow."

Burnitz made the catch and a shaken-up Patterson stayed on the ground for several seconds before jogging off with his teammate.

"Both got up unscathed. I was more worried about Corey. Both wanted the ball and you like to see guys hustle like that, but sometimes it's so noisy out there, it's hard to hear each other," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

The Astros aren't making any noise at all away from Houston. They dropped to 2-20 on the road, the worst mark in the major leagues, and will send Roger Clemens to the mound Tuesday night in hopes of stopping their losing streak.

Rusch (3-1) allowed five hits in eight innings, including Brad Ausmus' first homer of the season, which tied the game in the second. Ryan Dempster recorded three outs for his third save in four chances.

Rusch was making just his fourth start after beginning the season in the bullpen, showing for the second consecutive season an ability to relieve or step into the rotation when his teammates are injured.

"I'd like to start obviously, but I didn't mind what I did last year. I feel like I can help the team doing either one," Rusch said.

With Rusch working quickly, the game took just 2 hours, 7 minutes.

"Glendon's not one of those 21st Century, 95 mph pitchers. He's sneaky," Ausmus said. "He always does the same thing, he comes right at you."

Patterson's long homer to right was his ninth of the season, all solo shots. Burnitz added a two-run drive in the sixth off rookie Wandy Rodriguez (0-1), who was making his major-league debut after being called up from Triple-A Round Rock. He started in place of Andy Pettitte, who has tightness in his left arm.

Working on just three days' rest since his last minor-league start, Rodriguez allowed six hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings with one walk and six strikeouts. He retired eight in a row before Patterson's homer.

"I didn't feel any pressure. I was confident and I was locating my pitches. I just hung two pitches and gave up two home runs," Rodriguez said.

The Cubs scored a run off Rodriguez in the first on back-to-back singles by Jerry Hairston and Neifi Perez and a sacrifice fly by Derrek Lee.

Chicago had first and third and none out in the second after singles by Jason Dubois and Patterson, who then was picked off.

"Just a bad play on my behalf," he said. But one that he erased three innings later.

The Astros again couldn't muster much offense. They've scored just 57 runs on the road this season.

"We're struggling offensively. It's hard to tell whether it's what they are doing or what we're not doing," manager Phil Garner said. "We're just having a heck of a time getting anything going."


For the second consecutive game, the Cubs faced a rookie in his major-league debut. They were matched against Brandon McCarthy of the White Sox on Sunday. McCarthy didn't get a decision as the Cubs won 4-3. ... Rodriguez reached base in his first two at-bats, on an error in the second and with his first major-league hit, a single in the fifth. He made a nice fielding play in the third, moving laterally off the mound to pick up Perez's grounder and then throwing him out from his knees.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Burnitz
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

G. Rusch
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 6

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Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF3000012 .252
Todd Self, LF4010012 .375
Craig Biggio, 2B4000011 .294
Lance Berkman, 1B3000100 .173
Morgan Ensberg, 3B4010012 .300
Jason Lane, RF3000020 .225
Adam Everett, SS3000000 .221
Brad Ausmus, C3111000 .255
Wandy Rodriguez, P2010000 .500
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Bruntlett, PH1010000 .100
    Chad Harville, P0000000 .000
    John Franco, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Wheeler in the 8th
2B - Todd Self (2, Rusch)
HR - Brad Ausmus (1, Rusch)
SH - Willy Taveras (3)
RBI - Brad Ausmus (14)
2-OUT RBI - Brad Ausmus (5)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Everett-Biggio-Berkman
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (L,0-1) 5.2644162 6.35
Russ Springer 0.1000010 6.91
Dan Wheeler 1100000 1.56
Chad Harville 0.2100210 6.23
John Franco 0.1000000 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 72-45, Russ Springer 4-3, Dan Wheeler 7-4, Chad Harville 24-11, John Franco 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 4-6, Dan Wheeler 1-1, John Franco 1-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 23, Russ Springer 1, Dan Wheeler 3, Chad Harville 4, John Franco 1
Chicago Cubs
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B3110110 .276
Neifi Perez, SS4010010 .279
Derrek Lee, 1B1101200 .351
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4010012 .238
Jeromy Burnitz, RF4112013 .285
Jason Dubois, LF3010010 .258
Corey Patterson, CF3131000 .272
Michael Barrett, C3000023 .271
Glendon Rusch, P3000012 .200
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .077
2B - Aramis Ramirez (11, Harville)
HR - Jeromy Burnitz (7, Rodriguez), Corey Patterson (9, Rodriguez)
SF - Derrek Lee (4)
RBI - Derrek Lee (39), Jeromy Burnitz 2 (24), Corey Patterson (17)
2-OUT RBI - Jeromy Burnitz 2 (6)
SB - Neifi Perez (3, 2nd base off Rodriguez/Ausmus)
CS - Jerry Hairston Jr. (5, 2nd base by Harville/Ausmus), Corey Patterson (2, 2nd base by Rodriguez/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 4
Outfield Assists - Jason Dubois 1
DP - Rusch-Perez-Lee
E - Jerry Hairston Jr. (5, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Glendon Rusch (W,3-1) 8511161 2.54
Ryan Dempster (S,3) 1000000 5.22
Pitches-Strikes - Glendon Rusch 108-69, Ryan Dempster 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Glendon Rusch 9-8, Ryan Dempster 3-0
Batters Faced - Glendon Rusch 29, Ryan Dempster 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38232
Game Time - 2:07
Temperature - 50
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Kerwin Danley