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Lee homers, Lilly shuts out Astros for eight in Boone's return

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- Ted Lilly spoiled Aaron Boone's dream of a storybook return to the major leagues, and the Chicago left-hander was plenty tough on Boone's Houston teammates, too.

Just a little more than five months after open-heart surgery, Boone played first base in the Astros' 2-0 loss to Lilly's Cubs. Boone went 0 for 3, with his drive to left in the fifth inning getting caught at the warning track.

"[Homering] would have been a fun way to come back but it wasn't in the cards today, so go get 'em next time," Boone said. "Lilly was real good today, obviously."

Lilly has been one of baseball's underrated pitchers for some time. His eight shutout innings Wednesday, backed by Derrek Lee's two-run homer, gave him his seventh consecutive 10-win season.

Mark Buehrle, CC Sabathia and Johan Santana are the only other active lefties in that club.

  Astros: Boone returns to diamond

It was Lilly's fourth attempt at Win No. 10 since coming back from a shoulder injury, and he had surrendered four runs in the first three games without anything to show for his efforts.

"It's nice to win these close ones," said Lilly (10-8), whose previous victory was on July 11. "I was getting outpitched by the opposing pitcher."

Lilly, who is 7-1 with a 1.72 ERA at home, made up for what manager Lou Piniella called "that ill attempt trying to steal second base" in the third inning with hard-throwing Astros rookie Felipe Paulino on the mound.

Asked if Lilly had been given the green light to steal, Piniella laughed and said: "The light was red as hell." The manager added that Lilly pitched "a wonderful, wonderful game."

Carlos Marmol worked the ninth inning for his eighth save. He walked Hunter Pence with one out and gave up Carlos Lee's single before retiring Miguel Tejada and Geoff Blum.

Boone, best remembered for his 2003 AL pennant-winning homer for the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox, was on deck when Blum popped out.

"Sure, that's a little bit of a thought ... get an opportunity with some runners on to impact the game," said Boone, who robbed Jeff Baker of a third-inning double with a diving stop. "But it didn't happen. Hopefully, I'll get in that position again."

Lilly hasn't given up any runs to the Astros in 20 2/3 innings and is 4-0 against them this season. After scoring 26 times in Lilly's first three victories over Houston, however, the Cubs managed little offense against the overpowering Paulino (2-7), who held Chicago to four hits in six innings.

Andres Blanco led off the fourth with a double and Derrek Lee followed with his 27th homer of the year. Lee, who after a slow start is batting .322 with 24 homers in 92 games since May 19, reached the 90-RBI mark for the fifth time in his career.

"He just left a fastball over the middle for me," Lee said.

The Cubs went 11-6 against the Astros this year, matching their most victories over Houston in one season.

The Astros ended a nine-game road trip with only two victories, making it their worst multi-series trip this season. Like the Cubs, they have slumped badly the last month to fall well behind St. Louis in the NL Central.

Notes

  • Even though Astros CF Michael Bourn has reached base in 25 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors, he was given the day off. "I really didn't want to do it," manager Cecil Cooper said. "Michael's probably the MVP of our team. I'm aware of [the streak], but I need to play some of these other guys, and he's 1 for 8 against [Lilly]." Jason Michaels played CF and went 0 for 3.
  • The Cubs activated RHP David Patton from the DL, giving them 29 players on their active roster.
 
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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Aaron Boone hustles down the first-base line in his first major league action since open-heart surgery five months ago.
 
Aaron Boone hustles down the first-base line in his first major league action since open-heart surgery five months ago. (AP)
 

Players of the Game
Chicago

D. Lee
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Chicago

T. Lilly
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 0
K 5
 

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Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4010001 .243
Jeff Keppinger, 3B3000011 .258
   a- Michael Bourn, PH1000000 .296
Hunter Pence, RF3010100 .281
Carlos Lee, LF4020001 .307
    Edwin Maysonet, PR0000000 .295
Miguel Tejada, SS4000014 .298
Jason Michaels, CF3000002 .233
   b- Geoff Blum, PH1000002 .261
Aaron Boone, 1B3000001 .000
Humberto Quintero, C3010000 .238
Felipe Paulino, P2000020 .056
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
   c- Lance Berkman, PH1000011 .272
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
Totals3205015  
a-grounded out for Keppinger in the 9th
b-popped out for Michaels in the 9th
c-struck out for Byrdak in the 8th
Batting
2B - Hunter Pence (20, Lilly), Humberto Quintero (7, Lilly)
Team LOB - 6
Houston Astros
Felipe Paulino (L,2-7) 6422271 6.62
Tim Byrdak 1000100 2.94
LaTroy Hawkins 1000020 2.05
IBB - Lee by Felipe Paulino
Pitches-Strikes - Felipe Paulino 99-61, Tim Byrdak 16-8, LaTroy Hawkins 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felipe Paulino 6-4, Tim Byrdak 2-1, LaTroy Hawkins 1-0
Batters Faced - Felipe Paulino 23, Tim Byrdak 4, LaTroy Hawkins 3
Chicago Cubs
Kosuke Fukudome, CF3010110 .274
Andres Blanco, SS3110011 .240
Derrek Lee, 1B3112110 .294
Milton Bradley, RF3000013 .266
Jake Fox, LF3000022 .281
    Sam Fuld, LF0000000 .267
Mike Fontenot, 2B3000010 .225
Jeff Baker, 3B3000010 .273
Koyie Hill, C2000100 .244
Ted Lilly, P3010011 .082
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Totals2624239  
Batting
2B - Andres Blanco (6, Paulino)
HR - Derrek Lee (27, Paulino)
SH - Andres Blanco (6)
RBI - Derrek Lee 2 (90)
CS - Ted Lilly (1, 2nd base by Paulino/Quintero)
Team LOB - 4
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (W,10-8) 8400050 3.17
Carlos Marmol (S,8) 1100100 3.47
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 105-69, Carlos Marmol 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 6-13, Carlos Marmol 1-2
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 28, Carlos Marmol 5
Game Information
Attendance - 39192
Game Time - 2:14
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether