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Chicago at Houston

Scoreboard
Chi. Cubs (58-54)100000100260
Houston (50-63) «01000400x5101

Astros 5, Cubs 2

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The Chicago Cubs are missing Alfonso Soriano's bat.

Craig Biggio drove in the go-ahead run in a four-run sixth inning and the Houston Astros beat Chicago 5-2, the second straight game the Cubs have lost since Soriano went on the disabled list because of a torn right quadriceps.

In those games, the Cubs have scored three runs.

"Any time you lose a guy like that, there's going to be some affect on your team," reliever Kerry Wood said. "Even if it doesn't affect you on the field, mindset-wise it's going to bother you. You hate to see a guy like that go out. Hopefully he'll be back real soon."

Matt Murton, who led off the seventh with his second home run of the year, agreed.

"It's never easy to replace a guy like Soriano," Murton said. "He brings a lot to the club. You don't replace him. All you can do is go out and pick up the pieces and do the best you can."

Sean Marshall (5-6) lost for the third time in his last four starts. He lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up five runs and seven hits, striking out two.

Marshall, who retired nine straight batters before managing to get only one out in the sixth, doesn't think the loss of Soriano is the problem.

"I don't think that's bothering us," Marshall said. "Good teams go through droughts. The Brewers went through one last month. We just have to bounce back tomorrow and swing the bats."

Manager Lou Piniella would like to see that. He also questions how much the loss of Soriano is affecting his team.

"It's hard coming by runs right now," Piniella said. "Everybody's just got to do their part. I don't think anybody's being asked to carry more of the load than they can.

"We just need a game where we swing the bats and score some runs and then go from there."

It was the third straight loss for the Cubs, who have dropped five of their last six.

The hit was Biggio's 3,023rd, tying him with Lou Brock for 22nd on the all-time hit list.

Woody Williams (6-12) went six innings, allowed one run and four hits. He struck out seven, walked two and retired the final 10 batters he faced.

Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his seventh save, all of which have come since he was activated from the disabled list July 12.

Williams got off to a rough start, loading the bases with a pair of walks and a single before retiring a batter. He then walked Cliff Floyd to force in Ryan Theriot for a 1-0 lead.

Williams walked only one more the rest of his outing. He got out of the first without additional damage by striking out Mark DeRosa, getting Jacque Jones to pop out, and retiring Jason Kendall on a fly out.

"I thought (the plate) was moving around in the first inning," Williams said. "I wasn't reaching out and finishing my pitches. After the first inning they were digging in and swinging from the heels. I was fortunate enough to make some good pitches."

Manager Phil Garner was sticking with Williams, regardless.

"I was worried in the first inning," Garner said. "He was just off the plate and he persevered and got through it. He was going to have to get us out of it. The bullpen has been taxed."

Jason Lane tied it with his seventh home run of the season in the second inning.

Brad Ausmus doubled to lead off the sixth and was sacrificed to third. Biggio then punched a low bouncer up the middle on the drawn-in infield to break the 1-1 tie.

"The first two times I squared the bat on the ball the third baseman made a good play and the shortstop made a good play," Biggio said of his first two at-bats. "You get one through and you get lucky sometimes."

Mark Loretta singled on a slow roller that stopped an inch off the base line halfway to third and Lance Berkman's single drove in Biggio for a 3-1 lead.

The Astros weren't done. Carlos Lee drove in a run with a double off the visitors bullpen screen in left center and Ty Wigginton singled, the fifth straight Astros hit to make it 5-1.

Eric Patterson, the brother of Corey Patterson, made his first major league start in place of Soriano in left. He went 1-for-3 with two strikeouts.

Notes

Williams got his 1,500th career strikeout in the third inning when Derrek Lee was called out on strikes. ... His six innings pitched gave him 145 for the season, the fifth straight year he has hit the 145-inning mark. ... Cubs starters have not lost consecutive games since June 16-17 when Carlos Zambrano and Rich Hill did it. ... Chicago failed to get a double for the first time in seven games. ... Wood pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out one.
 
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

C. Lee
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Houston

J. Lane
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS4110121 .282
Mike Fontenot, 2B4010012 .305
Derrek Lee, 1B3000131 .323
Cliff Floyd, RF3011101 .291
Mark DeRosa, 3B4010023 .283
Jacque Jones, CF4000005 .247
Jason Kendall, C3000103 .230
Eric Patterson, LF3010023 .333
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .000
   a- Angel Pagan, PH1000010 .264
Sean Marshall, P1000010 .048
    Matt Murton, LF2111010 .259
Totals32262413  
a-struck out for Dempster in the 9th
Batting
HR - Matt Murton (2, Borkowski)
SH - Sean Marshall (4)
RBI - Cliff Floyd (36), Matt Murton (11)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Theriot-Fontenot-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Sean Marshall (L,5-6) 5.1755021 4.17
Kerry Wood 1.2200010 0.00
Ryan Dempster 1100110 3.80
Pitches-Strikes - Sean Marshall 68-44, Kerry Wood 31-16, Ryan Dempster 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sean Marshall 10-2, Kerry Wood 1-3, Ryan Dempster 1-1
Batters Faced - Sean Marshall 21, Kerry Wood 7, Ryan Dempster 5
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B4111010 .245
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Mark Loretta, 1B-2B4120000 .285
Lance Berkman, RF4111011 .257
Carlos Lee, LF3021100 .303
Ty Wigginton, 3B4011003 .277
Jason Lane, CF4111014 .168
Eric Bruntlett, SS3010002 .261
Brad Ausmus, C3110001 .234
Woody Williams, P1000010 .089
   a- Chris Burke, PH0000000 .231
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
   b- Mike Lamb, PH-1B1000000 .297
Totals31510514  
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Williams in the 6th
b-flied out for Borkowski in the 7th
Batting
2B - Carlos Lee (31, Wood), Brad Ausmus (13, Marshall)
HR - Jason Lane (7, Marshall)
SH - Chris Burke (4)
RBI - Craig Biggio (39), Lance Berkman (70), Carlos Lee (92), Ty Wigginton (52), Jason Lane (21)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Lane (6)
SB - Eric Bruntlett (4, off Marshall/Kendall)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Lance Berkman (7, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Woody Williams (W,6-12) 6411470 5.21
Dave Borkowski 1211021 5.36
Chad Qualls (H,12) 1000010 3.24
Brad Lidge (S,7) 1000030 2.66
WP - Dave Borkowski (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Woody Williams 116-71, Dave Borkowski 20-15, Chad Qualls 8-6, Brad Lidge 16-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Woody Williams 4-7, Dave Borkowski 1-0, Chad Qualls 2-0
Batters Faced - Woody Williams 26, Dave Borkowski 5, Chad Qualls 3, Brad Lidge 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37561
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Rick Reed, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez