Chicago at Houston

Chi. Cubs
W: T. Lilly (4-2) L: R. Ortiz (2-1)
HR: CHC - A. Soriano (8), A. Soriano (9)   HOU - M. Tejada (1)

Cubs 8, Astros 5 wire reports

HOUSTON -- Alfonso Soriano wasn't happy with his one-hit, three-strikeout performance in the Chicago Cubs' first game against the Houston Astros.

He made up for it in the second game of the short series.

Soriano hit two home runs to lead the Cubs to an 8-5 victory against the Astros on Thursday night. He hit a solo home run in the fourth and a two-run shot in the ninth.

"Yesterday I had a bad day, so I wanted to come back and have a better game," Soriano said.

Four of his nine home runs this season have come against the Astros and he is hitting .320 with five RBI in five games against Houston.

Mike Fontenot had two RBI and Milton Bradley, Micah Hoffpauir and Aramis Ramirez all drove in a run as the Cubs swept the mini series from their NL-Central foe.

The victory was Chicago's sixth in the past seven games.

"Our team is getting together now," Soriano said. "We're feeling more like a team. We're pitching better and hitting at the same time."

Cubs starter Ted Lilly (4-2) allowed four hits and two runs with five strikeouts in six innings to extend his winning streak against the Astros to five games.

"Lilly struggled early but he picked it up and he hung in there," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Truthfully I was thinking, 'I hope we can just get through five with him.' But I tell you what, he threw six pretty respectable innings."

Miguel Tejada had a two-run homer, two doubles and a single for the Astros.

Bradley's RBI single with one out in the third chased Astros starter Russ Ortiz (2-1) and tied it at 2. Kosuke Fukudome scored on Fontenot's sacrifice fly off Tim Byrdak later in the inning to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.

Ortiz's early departure continued a troubling trend for an overextended and injury-plagued Houston bullpen that is missing both Doug Brocail and closer Jose Valverde.

"They just need to go deeper into games," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said of his starters.

The Astros haven't had a starter get through six innings since April 28, spurring Cooper to add a 13th pitcher -- Alberto Arias -- to the roster on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Astros needed six pitchers: Ortiz, Byrdak, Chris Sampson, Wesley Wright, Felipe Paulino and Arias.

"We know every guy in here that's a starter is going to go as long and hard as he can, for as many innings as they can," Ortiz said. "Right now we're in a little rough patch, but that doesn't mean that it's going to continue to happen. No starter likes to have to have the bullpen used that much."

Ortiz allowed six hits and three runs with three walks in 2 1/3 innings.

Soriano made it 4-2 with a solo home run to center in the fourth.

A run-scoring single by Hoffpauir put Chicago up 1-0 in the first.

Tejada hit his first home run since September, a two-run shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field that made it 2-1 in the first.

Tejada's second double came in the eighth inning, but Carlos Marmol struck out Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence to end the inning.

Ivan Rodriguez had an RBI triple for Houston in the ninth and he scored on a groundout by Jeff Keppinger. Darin Erstad followed with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 8-5.


Cubs 1B Derrek Lee missed his second successive game because of recurring stiffness in his neck. "He's a little better today," Piniella said. "The only concern is that three-hour airplane trip to Milwaukee tonight. We'll see how he is tomorrow." Piniella doesn't expect Lee to end up on the DL. ... An MRI revealed Brocail has a torn hamstring that will likely keep him out at least a month. He has been on the DL since Monday. ... Houston C Humberto Quintero, who is on the 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to begin a four-day rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Friday. ... Astros hitting coach Sean Berry is scheduled to have surgery Friday morning to have what is believed to be a cancerous tumor removed from his kidney.

Copyright 2017 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

M. Tejada
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 1

A. Soriano
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2

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Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5223001 .276
Ryan Theriot, SS4220110 .312
Kosuke Fukudome, CF-RF4210101 .298
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4131100 .369
    Chad Fox, P0000000 .000
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B4021103 .313
Milton Bradley, RF4011024 .143
    Joey Gathright, CF1010000 .214
Mike Fontenot, 2B-3B3002112 .247
Geovany Soto, C5010015 .162
Ted Lilly, P3000012 .154
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   a- Aaron Miles, PH-2B1110000 .215
a-singled for Marmol in the 9th
2B - Ryan Theriot (4, Paulino), Micah Hoffpauir (4, Wright)
HR - Alfonso Soriano 2 (9, Byrdak, Paulino)
SF - Mike Fontenot (2)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 3 (17), Aramis Ramirez (16), Micah Hoffpauir (9), Milton Bradley (3), Mike Fontenot 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Micah Hoffpauir (5)
PK - Ryan Theriot (1, Ortiz)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Lilly-Fontenot-Hoffpauir
E - Aramis Ramirez (1, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (W,4-2) 6422351 3.11
Aaron Heilman (H,4) 1000020 4.15
Carlos Marmol (H,8) 1100030 4.50
Chad Fox 0.1233100 81.00
Kevin Gregg 0.2100010 4.40
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 88-52, Aaron Heilman 17-10, Carlos Marmol 14-11, Chad Fox 17-8, Kevin Gregg 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 4-8, Aaron Heilman 2-0, Chad Fox 1-0
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 24, Aaron Heilman 4, Carlos Marmol 4, Chad Fox 4, Kevin Gregg 3
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B3101101 .264
Miguel Tejada, SS5142000 .308
Lance Berkman, 1B5000043 .184
Carlos Lee, LF3010111 .295
Hunter Pence, RF4010013 .308
Jason Michaels, CF2100201 .261
Ivan Rodriguez, C4111021 .247
Jeff Keppinger, 3B4001001 .333
Russ Ortiz, P1000010 .143
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
   a- Geoff Blum, PH1000011 .268
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .000
   b- Michael Bourn, PH1000011 .296
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    Felipe Paulino, P0000000 .167
    Alberto Arias, P0000000 .000
   c- Darin Erstad, PH1110000 .179
a-struck out for Byrdak in the 4th
b-struck out for Sampson in the 7th
c-tripled for Arias in the 9th
2B - Miguel Tejada 2 (10, Lilly, Marmol)
3B - Ivan Rodriguez (1, Fox), Darin Erstad (1, Fox)
HR - Miguel Tejada (1, Lilly)
SF - Kazuo Matsui (2)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui (12), Miguel Tejada 2 (10), Ivan Rodriguez (12), Jeff Keppinger (3)
SB - Jason Michaels (1, 2nd base off Lilly/Soto)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Keppinger-Matsui-Berkman, Keppinger-Matsui-Berkman
E - Lance Berkman (2, Missed catch of throw)
Houston Astros
Russ Ortiz (L,2-1) 2.1633310 5.91
Tim Byrdak 1.2111011 2.31
Chris Sampson 3000010 1.89
Wesley Wright 0.2200020 6.97
Felipe Paulino 0.2544211 5.23
Alberto Arias 0.2000000 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Russ Ortiz 57-29, Tim Byrdak 26-18, Chris Sampson 33-24, Wesley Wright 15-12, Felipe Paulino 43-24, Alberto Arias 4-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Russ Ortiz 2-3, Tim Byrdak 1-3, Chris Sampson 4-4, Alberto Arias 1-0
Batters Faced - Russ Ortiz 15, Tim Byrdak 6, Chris Sampson 9, Wesley Wright 4, Felipe Paulino 9, Alberto Arias 1
Game Information
Attendance - 28625
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Wally Bell