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Chicago at Houston

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Chi. Cubs210100000471
Houston «20306010x12162

Astros 12, Cubs 4

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Morgan Ensberg helped solve the Houston Astros' offense problems -- for at least a night.

Ensberg hit a long home run and finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs, and Chris Burke, Adam Everett and Humberto Quintero also homered in the recently punchless Astros' 12-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

Ensberg homered in the seventh inning, a solo shot that landed on the train track well above the left-field stands. He helped the Astros follow consecutive shutouts with their second-highest scoring game of the season.

"There was a frustration going on," said Ensberg, whose 33rd homer would have left the ballpark if the roof wasn't closed. "Certainly with me there was. I was extremely frustrated with the last two days. My idea today was to hit the ball or go down in a ball of flames. Truly, that was the idea."

Burke hit a three-run homer in the third inning, and Everett had a solo homer and Quintero hit a two-run shot in a six-run fifth. Astros rookie Willy Taveras had his fourth four-hit game, finishing 4-for-6 with two runs.

Wandy Rodriguez (8-5) again benefited from generous run support. The Astros have scored 87 runs in his 15 starts -- about six runs in each outing -- for the rookie, who allowed four runs on seven hits in seven innings for his second consecutive victory.

In contrast, Astros ace Roger Clemens -- who received no run support in a two-hit, eight-inning gem Saturday -- has received 88 runs from his offense in 24 starts.

"I've just pitched my game and have been fortunate," Rodriguez said through a translator.

Matt Murton hit his first career homer and Todd Walker hit his eighth for the Cubs, who began a six-game road swing with their sixth consecutive road loss. Chicago has lost 10 of its last 13 to fall 7½ games behind the Astros in the NL wild-card race.

It doesn't figure to get any easier for Cubs. Tuesday they face Andy Pettitte -- who is 6-1 since June -- before ending the three-game series Wednesday against 14-game winner Roy Oswalt.

"We're going through a real tough stretch now," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "We've got to find a way against two tough pitchers the next couple of days to try and get out of this."

Chicago's Glendon Rusch (5-5) lasted only 3 2/3 innings in his first start since June 23. He allowed five runs on 10 hits.

"I'd make some pitches to get out of a jam, then I'd turn right around and make bad pitches and get back in another jam," Rusch said. "I just didn't do my job."

Burke and Everett each broke out of long slumps with their home runs. They had a combined eight hits in their last 80 at-bats before going deep for the Astros, who hit four home runs for the third time this season.

Quintero was homerless and batting .167 before connecting in the fifth. The Astros sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.

Everett, Burke and Quintero -- the Astros' Nos. 6-8 hitters -- combined for seven of Houston's RBI.

"It takes all nine of us hitting in the lineup," Everett said. "Chris and I knew we are better hitters than what we've been showing."

Corey Patterson scored the Cubs' final run in the fourth when he tripled to center, and went home when Craig Biggio's relay throw skipped and hit Patterson in the helmet as he was sliding into third base. The ball rolled toward the Cubs' dugout, allowing Patterson to score easily.

Notes

Taveras had his 42nd multihit game of the season. He was a major league-leading 59 infield hits. ... The Cubs have homered in seven consecutive games. ... Burke's three RBI was a career high. ... Quintero's homered for the first time since July 2, 2004, when he was with the San Diego Padres. ... The Astros avoided losing three in a row at home for the first time this season.

 
Copyright 2014 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
Houston

M. Ensberg
AB 4
R 3
H 4
HR 1
RBI 3
Houston

W. Taveras
AB 6
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Chicago Cubs
Matt Murton, LF5121003 .340
Todd Walker, 2B4111002 .301
    Scott Williamson, P0000000 .000
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
Derrek Lee, 1B1110200 .348
   a- Neifi Perez, PH-2B1000000 .269
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3000003 .302
   b- Todd Hollandsworth, PH-1B1000000 .253
Nomar Garciaparra, SS3010100 .233
Michael Barrett, C4011011 .282
Jeromy Burnitz, RF4000012 .258
Corey Patterson, CF3110100 .236
Glendon Rusch, P2000010 .120
    Todd Wellemeyer, P0000000 .333
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
   c- Jose Macias, PH-2B^3B1000100 .297
Totals324735311 
a-grounded out for Lee in the 8th
b-grounded out for Ramirez in the 8th
c-walked for Wuertz in the 7th
Batting
3B - Corey Patterson (3, Rodriguez)
HR - Matt Murton (1, Rodriguez), Todd Walker (8, Rodriguez)
RBI - Matt Murton (4), Todd Walker (28), Michael Barrett (50)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Murton (1), Michael Barrett (16)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Walker-Garciaparra-Lee
E - Jose Macias (4, wild throw)
Chicago Cubs
Glendon Rusch (L,5-5) 3.21055241 4.28
Todd Wellemeyer 0.1366312 6.84
Michael Wuertz 2200210 4.31
Scott Williamson 1111011 9.64
Will Ohman 1000020 2.59
Pitches-Strikes - Glendon Rusch 92-61, Todd Wellemeyer 24-11, Michael Wuertz 36-21, Scott Williamson 10-8, Will Ohman 19-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Glendon Rusch 2-4, Michael Wuertz 1-4, Will Ohman 2-0
Batters Faced - Glendon Rusch 22, Todd Wellemeyer 7, Michael Wuertz 10, Scott Williamson 4, Will Ohman 4
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF6240001 .301
Craig Biggio, 2B3110202 .276
    Eric Bruntlett, 2B1000011 .203
Lance Berkman, 1B4111104 .290
    Mike Lamb, 1B0000000 .215
Morgan Ensberg, 3B4343100 .300
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Chad Harville, P0000000 .000
Jason Lane, RF4011025 .264
Adam Everett, SS5122014 .242
Chris Burke, LF3213212 .229
Humberto Quintero, C5112023 .178
Wandy Rodriguez, P3110110 .172
    Jose Vizcaino, 3B1000010 .228
Totals391216127922 
Batting
HR - Morgan Ensberg (33, Williamson), Adam Everett (9, Wellemeyer), Chris Burke (2, Rusch), Humberto Quintero (1, Wellemeyer)
SF - Jason Lane (4)
RBI - Lance Berkman (50), Morgan Ensberg 3 (91), Jason Lane (55), Adam Everett 2 (42), Chris Burke 3 (18), Humberto Quintero 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Morgan Ensberg (40), Adam Everett (21), Chris Burke 3 (7)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Ensberg-Biggio-Berkman, Rodriguez-Biggio-Everett-Berkman, Bruntlett-Everett-Berkman
E - Craig Biggio (11, wild throw), Mike Lamb (6, wild throw)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,8-5) 7744422 6.09
Russ Springer 1000000 5.75
Chad Harville 1000110 4.63
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 105-63, Russ Springer 14-9, Chad Harville 22-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 12-4, Russ Springer 2-1, Chad Harville 2-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 29, Russ Springer 3, Chad Harville 5
Game Information
Attendance - 26992
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Jim Wolf