Chicago at Houston

Chi. Cubs (2-1) «44002000111160
Houston (1-2)0022110006111

Cubs 11, Astros 6 wire reports

HOUSTON -- Cubs manager Lou Piniella joked with Ted Lilly that he picked the right night to have a mediocre start.

Lilly gave up five runs in five innings but it was good enough to earn the win in Chicago's 11-6 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

Aramis Ramirez and Mike Fontenot drove in four runs apiece. Kosuke Fukudome had four hits and scored a career-high four runs for Chicago, which won an opening series for the first time since it took two of three from the New York Mets to begin the 2003 season.

Piniella knows Lilly can pitch much better.

"He's a little behind," Piniella said. "His location is not good. When he should be missing down, he's missing up in the zone. And today the wind was blowing out to left field and they got a hold of a few of them."

Lilly (1-0) allowed eight hits, struck out three and walked none.

"We're going to score a lot of runs, there's no doubt about it," he said. "But I don't know if we're going to score 11 every night. I want to be prepared when we don't and I need to limit the opposing club to two runs, or whatever is necessary to get the 'W."'

Lance Berkman and Ivan Rodriguez connected for Houston, which finished with five homers. Jeff Keppinger, Kaz Matsui and Hunter Pence also went deep.

Chicago scored four runs in the first and second. Ramirez, Fontenot and Ryan Theriot had RBI singles and Derrek Lee doubled in a run in the first. Ramirez singled in a run in the second before Fontenot's three-run homer made it 8-0.

Brian Moehler (0-1) allowed seven runs and eight hits in just 1 2/3 innings, reinforcing concerns that the Astros' rotation is shaky behind ace Roy Oswalt.

"I just didn't have it tonight," Moehler said. "We battled back a little but I stunk up the place, bottom line."

He was replaced by Russ Ortiz, Houston's fifth starter who is working in long relief until his first scheduled start. He pitched three innings and allowed four hits and three runs.

"Russ threw the ball pretty well," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "He might have run out of gas a little. I might have stayed with him a little too long."

Keppinger and Berkman hit back-to-back homers to make it 8-2 in the third inning. Keppinger, who was acquired in a trade with Cincinnati a week ago and drove in the winning run on Tuesday, got his first start for Houston.

"Keppinger is going to do a lot of things for us this year," Cooper said. "He's a professional hitter."

Rodriguez's two-run shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field cut it to 8-4 in the fourth inning. But Ramirez doubled in Alfonso Soriano and Fukudome in the fifth to restore Chicago's six-run lead.

Ramirez went 4-for-6 and Fukudome also had a solo drive in the ninth.

"He's been working on his hitting, believe me, been working hard," Piniella said of Fukudome. "Today, my gosh. This is the best game he's had here in two years."


Piniella said C Geovany Soto was going to Chicago on Thursday for what Piniella termed a 'precautionary' evaluation of his sore right shoulder. Soto left Tuesday's game early and didn't play Wednesday. Piniella said Soto could be ready for Friday's game in Milwaukee. "He should be OK in a few days," Piniella said. "We'll see how he is on Friday." ... Astros RHP Brandon Backe threw 40 pitches off the mound in his first bullpen session since straining a muscle in his left side at spring training. "No tweaks, no pulls, no strains," Backe said. "But I didn't do too much out there." Cooper said Backe would throw another bullpen on Friday. "He threw well, nice and easy and free," Cooper said. "He really didn't cut it loose. This was more just for him to just get on the mound and make sure I saw it." ... Astros radio broadcaster Milo Hamilton was honored before Wednesday's game when Hamilton Street was renamed Milo Hamilton Way. The 2009 season is his 25th with the team.

Copyright 2015 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

K. Fukudome
AB 5
R 4
H 4
HR 1

I. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5220100 .333
Kosuke Fukudome, CF5441101 .444
    Angel Guzman, P0000000 .000
Derrek Lee, 1B6111035 .154
Milton Bradley, RF2200312 .000
Aramis Ramirez, 3B6144012 .429
Mike Fontenot, 2B5124013 .385
Ryan Theriot, SS4021101 .556
Koyie Hill, C5010023 .143
Ted Lilly, P3000014 .000
   a- Micah Hoffpauir, PH1000000 .500
    David Patton, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   b- Joey Gathright, PH-CF1000000 .000
a-flied out for Lilly in the 6th
b-grounded out for Marmol in the 9th
2B - Alfonso Soriano (1, Geary), Kosuke Fukudome (1, Ortiz), Derrek Lee (1, Moehler), Aramis Ramirez (1, Sampson)
HR - Kosuke Fukudome (1, Brocail), Mike Fontenot (1, Ortiz)
RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (1), Derrek Lee (2), Aramis Ramirez 4 (5), Mike Fontenot 4 (4), Ryan Theriot (2)
2-OUT RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (1), Aramis Ramirez 3 (3), Mike Fontenot 3 (3)
SB - Alfonso Soriano (1, 3rd base off Ortiz/Rodriguez), Kosuke Fukudome (1, 2nd base off Ortiz/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 12
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (W,1-0) 5855034 9.00
David Patton 2111021 4.50
Carlos Marmol 1100000 0.00
Angel Guzman 1100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 73-50, David Patton 25-16, Carlos Marmol 16-8, Angel Guzman 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 4-8, David Patton 3-1, Carlos Marmol 2-1, Angel Guzman 2-0
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 23, David Patton 7, Carlos Marmol 4, Angel Guzman 4
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B5111001 .250
Jeff Keppinger, 3B5121001 .500
Lance Berkman, 1B4111011 .300
Carlos Lee, LF4010001 .083
Miguel Tejada, SS4110001 .455
Hunter Pence, RF4121001 .400
Ivan Rodriguez, C4122001 .250
Michael Bourn, CF4010011 .333
Brian Moehler, P0000000 .000
    Russ Ortiz, P2000020 .000
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Smith, PH1000010 .000
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    Doug Brocail, P0000000 .000
   b- Darin Erstad, PH1000011 .000
a-struck out for Sampson in the 6th
b-struck out for Brocail in the 9th
2B - Carlos Lee (1, Lilly), Hunter Pence (1, Marmol), Ivan Rodriguez (1, Lilly)
HR - Kazuo Matsui (1, Lilly), Jeff Keppinger (1, Lilly), Lance Berkman (1, Lilly), Hunter Pence (2, Patton), Ivan Rodriguez (1, Lilly)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui (1), Jeff Keppinger (2), Lance Berkman (1), Hunter Pence (3), Ivan Rodriguez 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Keppinger (1), Lance Berkman (1)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Berkman-Rodriguez
E - Miguel Tejada (2, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler (L,0-1) 1.2877110 37.80
Russ Ortiz 3433461 9.00
Chris Sampson 1.1100000 0.00
Geoff Geary 1100010 3.00
Wesley Wright 1100010 0.00
Doug Brocail 1111101 6.75
HBP - Bradley (by Brian Moehler)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 37-24, Russ Ortiz 73-41, Chris Sampson 17-12, Geoff Geary 24-15, Wesley Wright 11-9, Doug Brocail 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 2-1, Russ Ortiz 1-2, Chris Sampson 2-2, Geoff Geary 2-0, Wesley Wright 1-1, Doug Brocail 2-2
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 14, Russ Ortiz 17, Chris Sampson 5, Geoff Geary 4, Wesley Wright 4, Doug Brocail 6
Game Information
Attendance - 30047
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Jim Joyce