Chicago at Houston

Final 10th
Chi. Cubs
W: B. Lidge (3-1) L: M. Wuertz (2-3)
HR: CHC - None   HOU - C. Lee (24)

Cubs lose first game minus Soriano, fall to Astros in 10th

CBS wire reports

HOUSTON -- If the Cubs want to stay in contention during Alfonso Soriano's absence, they'll have to play better than this.

After Chicago stranded the potential winning run at third base in the top of the 10th, Eric Munson hit an RBI single in the bottom half that gave the Houston Astros a 2-1 victory Monday night.

"Yeah, we'd like to have Soriano, but we don't so you flip the page and move on," reliever Michael Wuertz said. "You can't worry about it. We've got 25 guys and we have to go out there and do our job."

Chicago, which remained one game behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee, threatened in the 10th against Brad Lidge (3-1) when Jason Kendall singled leading off, took second on a sacrifice and advanced on a flyout. Lidge then struck out Cliff Floyd.

Ty Wigginton was walked by Wuertz (2-3) starting the bottom half, and Jason Lane sacrificed.

"A leadoff walk kills you every time - it's that simple," Wuertz said. "You walk that guy, it comes back to haunt you."

Sure did.

After Eric Bruntlett flied out, Wuertz threw a wild pitch and Munson singled to right. Chicago dropped to 1-7 in extra-inning games this season.

"It's tough to lose a game that way," Wuertz said. "I threw him a slider and he hit it. I threw the same pitch at 3-1. It just ended up being too fine. That's what happens when you fall behind in the count as well."

Ryan Theriot doubled twice for the Cubs, who have lost four of five.

Chicago manager Lou Piniella said before the game that a scan revealed Soriano had torn his right quadriceps while running the bases against the New York Mets on Sunday night at Wrigley Field.

"We think he'll be out four-to-six weeks," Piniella said. "We think it will be around Labor Day."

Wandy Rodriguez struck out a career-high nine for the Astros, who had lost six of their previous nine. Rodriguez gave up one run and four hits in eight innings, and his 121 pitches were a season high for the Astros. Chad Qualls and Lidge completed the five-hitter.

Rodriguez is 6-2 at home with a 1.69 ERA -- second-best at home in the majors. On the road, he's 1-8 with an NL-worst 8.16 ERA.

"I feel the same on the road," he said. "I feel comfortable at home but I feel just as comfortable on the road."

Manager Phil Garner also can't explain it.

"I've seen it before but I don't know why it happens," Garner said.

Cubs starter Rich Hill allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. He has four no decisions since beating San Francisco on July 16.

"We got a good game out of Hill, and we squandered some scoring opportunities," Piniella said. "You hold a team to two runs in 10 innings, you should win."

Carlos Lee put Houston ahead in the fourth with his 24th homer, an opposite-field drive to right. Theriot doubled leading off the fifth and scored on Derrek Lee's grounder.

Rodriguez worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth when he got Hill on a called third strike. After the Cubs scored in the fifth he retired 12 straight, striking out the side in the eighth. Qualls struck out the side in the ninth.

After this three-game series, the Cubs go to Colorado for four games before returning home. It could be a key stretch.

"The next six days," Wuertz said, "we've got to play really well."


  • Chicago's Eric Patterson made his major league debut, playing left field in the ninth and sacrificing in the 10th. He is the brother of Corey Patterson, who played for Chicago from 2000-05. The Pattersons became the 10th set of brothers to play for the Cubs.
  • Houston has homered in a season-high nine straight games.
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Wandy Rodriguez puts on his game face against Chicago as he K's a career-high nine batters.  (AP)
Wandy Rodriguez puts on his game face against Chicago as he K's a career-high nine batters. (AP)

Players of the Game

C. Lee
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

R. Hill
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 6

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS5120001 .282
Ronny Cedeno, 2B4000022 .130
   a- Cliff Floyd, PH-RF1000011 .290
Derrek Lee, 1B4011011 .325
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000022 .313
Matt Murton, LF3010012 .256
   b- Mike Fontenot, PH1000010 .306
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
Mark DeRosa, RF-2B3000120 .284
Angel Pagan, CF4000012 .265
Jason Kendall, C3010100 .232
Rich Hill, P3000023 .119
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
    Eric Patterson, LF0000000 .000
a-struck out for Cedeno in the 10th
b-struck out for Murton in the 9th
2B - Ryan Theriot 2 (19, Rodriguez, Rodriguez)
SH - Eric Patterson (1)
RBI - Derrek Lee (59)
SB - Ryan Theriot (20, 3rd base off Rodriguez/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Theriot-Cedeno-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Rich Hill 7311261 3.54
Carlos Marmol 1000010 1.67
Bob Howry 1000010 3.88
Michael Wuertz (L,2-3) 0.2111100 3.46
WP - Michael Wuertz (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Hill 100-63, Carlos Marmol 15-11, Bob Howry 12-7, Michael Wuertz 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Hill 6-8, Carlos Marmol 1-1, Michael Wuertz 1-1
Batters Faced - Rich Hill 25, Carlos Marmol 3, Bob Howry 3, Michael Wuertz 4
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B3000110 .245
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Mark Loretta, 1B-2B4000011 .283
Lance Berkman, RF4000020 .257
Carlos Lee, LF3121100 .300
Ty Wigginton, 3B3100122 .277
Jason Lane, CF3000002 .165
Eric Bruntlett, SS4000003 .258
Brad Ausmus, C2010000 .232
   a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000010 .244
    Eric Munson, C1011000 .278
Wandy Rodriguez, P2000011 .147
   b- Mike Lamb, PH-1B1000000 .298
a-struck out for Ausmus in the 8th
b-grounded out for Rodriguez in the 8th
HR - Carlos Lee (24, Hill)
SH - Jason Lane (1)
RBI - Carlos Lee (91), Eric Munson (12)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (43), Eric Munson (2)
SB - Carlos Lee (8, 2nd base off Hill/Kendall)
Team LOB - 4
E - Craig Biggio (8, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez 8411290 4.50
Chad Qualls 1000030 3.30
Brad Lidge (W,3-1) 1100010 2.72
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 121-79, Chad Qualls 11-10, Brad Lidge 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 10-6, Brad Lidge 1-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 31, Chad Qualls 3, Brad Lidge 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36459
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Rick Reed