Houston at Chicago

Scoreboard
Houston (39-53)1410000006111
Chi. Cubs (47-43) «06010000x7110

Lee ends homerless streak as Cubs sweep 'Stros

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- Derrek Lee knows the reason why the Cubs are winning now.

Lee broke a streak of 126 at-bats without a home run with a three-run shot in the second inning to help the Chicago Cubs complete a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros with a 7-6 win on Sunday.

The Cubs have won 15 of their past 19 games and swept the Astros in a three-game series at Wrigley Field for the first time since May 1984.

The Cubs fought back from a five-run deficit in the second inning.

"We're playing with confidence, regardless. ... We never felt we were out of the game," Lee said. "We knew we had a good team, but now we have that confidence to go along with it. There was a time where we got down like that we might not of been sure that we could come back."

Ryan Theriot and Angel Pagan also homered for the Cubs, who remain 3½ games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.

"The club is gaining confidence and that's the important thing," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "They're playing with confidence and confidence is a good thing."

The Cubs used five relievers to preserve the victory, who combined for five scoreless innings.

Reliever Michael Wuertz (2-2) earned the victory. He got one out in the seventh with the bases loaded and pitched a perfect eighth inning. Bob Howry earned his fifth save.

Mike Lamb homered for the Astros, who have lost six straight on the road.

Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez (6-8) couldn't hold an early 5-0 lead. He allowed six runs on seven hits in the second inning. With one out, Mark DeRosa doubled and scored on Geovany Soto's single. On the next pitch, Pagan hit a two-run homer. It was his fourth of the season. Jason Marquis and Theriot followed with back-to-back singles. Then with two outs, Lee hit a three-run home run into the left-field bleachers, giving the Cubs a 6-5 lead. It was his seventh of the season, his first since June 3 against the Braves.

"It's been a long time," Lee said. "It felt good, plus it gave us the lead and put us back in the game, so it felt very good."

Rodriguez was coming off an impressive four-hit shutout of the New York Mets on July 6, but left after 3 1/3 innings. The lefty gave up seven runs and nine hits in his shortest outing of the season.

"He got in situations where he didn't use his breaking ball or couldn't use his breaking ball, and they hit his fastball," Astros manager Phil Garner said.

Marquis, who started for the Cubs, didn't last long. Lamb tied the game with a solo shot in the third inning off Marquis. It was Lamb's eighth of the season.

Theriot's leadoff homer in the fourth inning broke a 6-6 tie. It was Theriot's second of the season.

Marquis went four innings and gave up six runs on six hits. Marquis' ERA in his past seven starts is 6.75.

The Astros threatened in the seventh inning, they had runners on first and second with no outs. Luke Scott drove a ball to the warning track, but DeRosa made a nice over-the-shoulder catch. With runners on second and third with one out, Cubs reliever Will Ohman got Brad Ausmus to line out to third. Then Wuertz came in and walked pinch-hitter Morgan Ensberg to load the bases but ended the inning by striking out Chris Burke.

"That's a great play out there with the (basket) hanging out over the field," Piniella said.

Hunter Pence doubled off the wall in left in the first inning and scored on Lance Berkman's RBI single.

The Astros added four runs off Marquis in the second inning. Marquis gave up a leadoff single to Lamb and Scott drove in Lamb with a double. Ausmus followed with an RBI single. After a sacrifice bunt by Rodriguez, Marquis walked Burke. Then with two outs and the count full, Berkman doubled to center, scoring Ausmus and Burke, giving the Astros a 5-0 lead.

"All I ask is we hit the ball hard and we did today. We had good at-bats when we had opportunities to drive somebody in, and we hit the ball hard and we didn't get anything for it," Garner said.

Notes

  • Before the second inning, Rodriguez pitched 17 consecutive scoreless innings.
  • Piniella dropped Alfonso Soriano to fifth in the batting order from the leadoff spot, hoping it would lead to more offense against lefty starters.
 
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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Angel Pagan smacks a two-run home run in the Cubs' six-run second inning.  (AP)
Angel Pagan smacks a two-run home run in the Cubs' six-run second inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

L. Berkman
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Chicago

D. Lee
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Houston Astros
Chris Burke, 2B4100124 .229
Hunter Pence, CF4110122 .334
Lance Berkman, 1B3023200 .261
Carlos Lee, LF5000015 .292
Mark Loretta, SS4010001 .315
    Eric Bruntlett, PR-SS1000000 .289
Mike Lamb, 3B5231010 .297
Luke Scott, RF4111100 .223
Brad Ausmus, C4121002 .253
Wandy Rodriguez, P1010000 .179
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
   a- Craig Biggio, PH1000012 .255
    Matt Albers, P0000000 .222
   b- Morgan Ensberg, PH0000100 .221
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
Totals36611667  
a-struck out for Borkowski in the 5th
b-walked for Albers in the 7th
Batting
2B - Hunter Pence (24, Marquis), Lance Berkman (10, Marquis), Luke Scott (15, Marquis)
HR - Mike Lamb (8, Marquis)
SH - Wandy Rodriguez (7)
RBI - Lance Berkman 3 (60), Mike Lamb (26), Luke Scott (39), Brad Ausmus (19)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman 2 (20)
SB - Hunter Pence (8, 2nd base off Marquis/Soto), Lance Berkman (5, 2nd base off Marquis/Soto)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Borkowski-Berkman
E - Brad Ausmus (3, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (L,6-8) 3.1977223 4.33
Dave Borkowski 0.2000000 4.31
Matt Albers 2000120 5.82
Chad Qualls 2200020 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 77-48, Dave Borkowski 3-2, Matt Albers 29-19, Chad Qualls 32-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 4-4, Matt Albers 3-1, Chad Qualls 2-2
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 21, Dave Borkowski 1, Matt Albers 7, Chad Qualls 8
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS-2B5221011 .282
Mike Fontenot, 2B3000010 .333
    Carlos Marmol, P1000010 .000
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Koyie Hill, C0000000 .148
Derrek Lee, 1B3133100 .335
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4010003 .313
Alfonso Soriano, LF4000012 .308
Mark DeRosa, RF3110111 .297
Geovany Soto, C2111111 .143
   a- Jacque Jones, PH1000000 .232
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
Angel Pagan, CF4122002 .275
Jason Marquis, P2110001 .171
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
    Cesar Izturis, SS1000000 .246
Totals33711736  
a-grounded out for Soto in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mark DeRosa (18, Rodriguez)
HR - Ryan Theriot (2, Rodriguez), Derrek Lee (7, Rodriguez), Angel Pagan (4, Rodriguez)
SH - Cesar Izturis (2)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (26), Derrek Lee 3 (47), Geovany Soto (1), Angel Pagan 2 (15)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee 3 (15)
SB - Derrek Lee (4, 3rd base off Qualls/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Marquis-Theriot-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Jason Marquis 4866321 4.03
Scott Eyre 0.2100100 6.46
Carlos Marmol (H,6) 1.1100120 0.88
Will Ohman (H,10) 0.2100000 4.05
Michael Wuertz (H,7; W,2-2) 1.1000120 3.64
Bob Howry (S,5) 1000010 4.47
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 82-49, Scott Eyre 19-12, Carlos Marmol 26-14, Will Ohman 10-6, Michael Wuertz 27-14, Bob Howry 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 5-4, Scott Eyre 1-1, Michael Wuertz 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 22, Scott Eyre 4, Carlos Marmol 6, Will Ohman 3, Michael Wuertz 5, Bob Howry 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41757
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Larry Vanover