Houston at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: R. Oswalt (8-5) L: R. Harden (8-8)
S: J. Valverde (20)
HR: HOU - C. Lee (22)   CHC - D. Lee (26)

Astros 5, Cubs 3

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Carlos Lee has a simple reason for putting up big numbers at Wrigley Field.

"I just think that I see the ball real good here," Lee said. "If you take a ballpark that you see the ball real good, for me it's here. I hit a lot here -- I got places I don't see the ball good, and it's the other way around. It's funny how it works."

Sure is.

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Lee hit a two-run home run and drove in four runs Monday night, leading the Houston Astros to a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Lee has hit 20 of his 31 homers against the Cubs at the "Friendly Confines." He also had a two-run single to give him 85 RBI against the NL Central division rival.

Lee came into the series after going 1 for 12 in a three-game series at Arizona.

"Guys have places that they swing the bat well they see the ball good in and Carlos swung the bat pretty good just in Arizona but he didn't get a whole lot of luck. Most guys usually have a ballpark where they're pretty comfortable," said Astros manager Cecil Cooper. "Maybe it's because he was a White Sox or something."

Roy Oswalt pitched seven strong innings for Houston, who won for just the second time in eight games.

Oswalt (8-5) bounced back after giving up a season high-tying 10 hits in six innings of a 3-2 loss to St. Louis on Wednesday. Oswalt is 5-1 since June 29 and the Astros have nine wins in Oswalt's last 11 starts. He allowed two runs on six hits, striking out three and walking one.

"Didn't really have my good stuff, though," Oswalt said. "I was able to locate some pitches but as far as feeling 100 percent I didn't really feel 100 percent."

Astros reliever LaTroy Hawkins allowed a solo shot to Derrek Lee in the eighth inning and Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless ninth for his 20th save in 24 opportunities. Michael Bourn made a diving catch in center on Koyie Hill's ball to end the game.

The Cubs fell six games behind Colorado and San Francisco in the NL wild-card race.

Chris Coste led off the fourth inning with a walk and advanced to second on a Oswalt's sacrifice bunt. Bourn followed with an RBI double off the ivy in center against Rich Harden. Harden walked Jeff Keppinger and Lance Berkman to load the bases. Then Lee lined a single to left, scoring Bourn and Keppinger.

In the fifth inning, Keppinger led off with a single and, one out later, Lee homered to left-center to put the Astros up 5-0. It was Lee's 22nd of the season.

Harden (8-8) allowed five runs on five hits in five innings. He struck out nine but walked six.

"It was one of those nights where I felt really good, maybe too good. I just had trouble getting a feel and getting into a rhythm and obviously walks killed me, I had a lot of those," Harden said. "It was either strikeout, a hit or a walk, not what the team needed tonight."

Harden was reportedly claimed on the waivers by the Twins, but Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said there was no serious trade discussions between the Cubs and the Twins.

Harden said the reports were on his mind throughout the week.

"It was. You just can't ignore it," Harden said. "The whole thing was ridiculous. It had nothing to do with my performance today. Can't make excuses."

With one out in the fifth, Jeff Baker singled and scored from first on Hill's double. With two outs, Ryan Theriot hit an RBI single.

Milton Bradley was 0 for 4 for the Cubs and was booed after every out he made.


Five months after open-heart surgery, Astros 3B Aaron Boone will be activated when major league rosters expand on Tuesday. Astros manager Cecil Cooper is uncertain if Boone will see action Tuesday, but might play against Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly on Wednesday. "He's available but I can't say if he'll start. We'll just have to look at it maybe on Wednesday. I'll look at it and figure out how to get him in there," Cooper said. ... Cubs C Geovany Soto was out of the lineup while in a 6 for 47 slump. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year is hitting .212 in 84 games this season. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he is going to play Hill more at catcher. ... Cooper said right-hander Felipe Paulino will start Wednesday against the Cubs. ... Cubs LF Alfonso Soriano missed his third game with a sore left knee.
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

C. Lee
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

R. Theriot
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4111121 .292
Jeff Keppinger, 2B4210112 .262
Lance Berkman, 1B3010211 .276
Carlos Lee, LF4124012 .308
Miguel Tejada, SS4010032 .303
Geoff Blum, 3B4010033 .259
Hunter Pence, RF3010102 .281
Chris Coste, C2100222 .226
Roy Oswalt, P1000011 .130
   a- Darin Erstad, PH1000011 .210
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Oswalt in the 8th
2B - Michael Bourn (25, Harden)
HR - Carlos Lee (22, Harden)
SH - Roy Oswalt 2 (13)
RBI - Michael Bourn (32), Carlos Lee 4 (85)
CS - Hunter Pence (9, 2nd base by Harden/Hill)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Keppinger-Tejada-Berkman
E - Hunter Pence (4, Dropped fly)
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt (W,8-5) 7622130 3.80
LaTroy Hawkins (H,15) 1111001 2.09
Jose Valverde (S,20) 1000020 2.09
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 92-68, LaTroy Hawkins 15-9, Jose Valverde 10-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 5-13, LaTroy Hawkins 1-2
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 28, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Jose Valverde 3
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS4021001 .293
Milton Bradley, RF4000002 .266
Derrek Lee, 1B3111111 .294
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000003 .323
Kosuke Fukudome, CF4000022 .274
Jake Fox, LF4000011 .286
Jeff Baker, 2B4120010 .281
Koyie Hill, C4111001 .245
Rich Harden, P1000000 .200
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH1000001 .227
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   b- Sam Fuld, PH1010000 .271
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Harden in the 5th
b-singled for Heilman in the 7th
2B - Koyie Hill (11, Oswalt)
HR - Derrek Lee (26, Hawkins)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (49), Derrek Lee (88), Koyie Hill (20)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Theriot (25)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Theriot-Baker-Lee, Theriot-Baker-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Rich Harden (L,8-8) 5555691 4.19
Aaron Heilman 2200120 4.26
Kevin Gregg 1100020 4.09
John Grabow 1000020 2.72
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 98-52, Aaron Heilman 31-17, Kevin Gregg 15-10, John Grabow 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 2-2, Aaron Heilman 2-1, John Grabow 1-0
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 24, Aaron Heilman 8, Kevin Gregg 4, John Grabow 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36990
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Eric Cooper