Houston at Chicago

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Houston (38-56)040210000782
Chi. Cubs (43-52) «00015125x14141

Aramis Ramirez hits three home runs, helps Cubs beat Astros

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- With the end of his long baseball career in sight, Lou Piniella endured a long emotional day. It ended with him leading the Cubs to its biggest comeback of the season.

Aramis Ramirez hit three homers and drove in seven runs to help Chicago rally to beat the Houston Astros 14-7 on Tuesday night hours after Piniella announced he will retire at the end of the season.

Ramirez hit two three-run homers and a solo shot. It was the fourth three-homer game of his career. The game started as a microcosm of the season for Piniella, who is calling it quits after 18 years in the majors as a player and another 22 as a manager.

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"Sure it was. It was emotional and draining, but it is over with and now my situation doesn't have to be disturbed anymore and we can concentrate on the team, which is important," said Piniella. "Component, I'm just a small piece of it. Let's hope we can continue to play and win some baseball games and make it fun for our fans."

Derrek Lee hit a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh and Geovany Soto tied the game with a solo shot in the sixth inning for the Cubs, who came back after trailing 7-1 in the fifth inning.

"I'm tired today, I really am. I really am, but I will get a good night sleep and I will be out here ready to go tomorrow," said Piniella.

Ramirez wasn't surprised to hear Piniella will retire after the season, but he was caught off guard that he announced it on Tuesday.

"Not really. Lou is what? (66). It was coming. I was surprised that he announced it during the season, I thought he was going to wait until the end of the season," said Ramirez.

Starlin Castro led off the seventh with a double off the center-field wall off Astros reliever Brandon Lyon (5-4). Lee followed with an RBI double to left-center and scored on Alfonso Soriano's two-out RBI single to give the Cubs a 9-7 lead.

Lee also had a two-run single in the eighth and Ramirez hit his third home run of the game, a three-run shot off Astros reliever Gary Majewski.

The Cubs sent 10 hitter to the plate in the fifth and eighth innings.

Cubs reliever Andrew Cashner (1-3) pitched the sixth and seventh and retired all six batters he faced to earn his first major league victory and Sean Marshall followed with a perfect eighth. Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth to close the game. The Cubs bullpen retired the final 12 batters in order to end the game.

After sitting through a long a five-run first inning in Monday night's blowout loss, Piniella had to endure a four-run second inning on Tuesday, that consisted of one error, three walks and a hit batter. The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate, but only had two hits in the inning.

"Well it didn't start well, but it sure ended well. I am real proud of our team the way they came back and finished the job," said Piniella, who saw the Cubs score 13 unanswered runs.

Chris Johnson was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI for the Astros. After hitting his first major league homer Monday night, Johnson hit his second one to center.

Ramirez hit his first homer of the night in the fourth inning off Wesley Wright.

"We hit the ball, hard, it wasn't only me. We scored 14 runs," said Ramirez. "It was a team win today."

Wright was called up before the game from Triple-A Round Rock for his first major league start, allowed six runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Trailing 7-1, the Cubs rallied in the fifth. Soto led off the inning with a single, then Ryan Theriot hit a grounder to Jeff Keppinger at second base, Keppinger made an errant throw that rolled into left-field, moving Soto to third and Theriot ended up at second.

"No lead is safe, especially in here when the winds blowing out a little bit," said Astros manager Brad Mills. "They opened the door for us by throwing the ball away at second and we kind of opened the door the exact same."

Wright struck out pinch-hitter Xavier Nady on a wild pitch, allowing Soto to score. Tyler Colvin reached after getting plunked by Wright and Castro drove in Theriot on a groundout to second. Lee followed with a walk, then Ramirez hit his second home run of the night, a three-run shot to left-center to get the Cubs within 7-6.

"The thing kind of got away from me a little bit. I'm a little disappointed about that. I wish I would have been able got out of that inning (5th). I didn't. It's a learning experience," said Wright. "That's going to happen [error] over a course of a game. I wish I could have executed a little bit better in the fifth inning and give our team a chance to get over that error."

Soto tied the game in the sixth inning with a leadoff home run.

Notes

  • Cubs RHP Carlos Zambrano, who has been on the restricted list following his dugout confrontation with teammate Lee, will pitch in relief for Triple-A Iowa on Thursday.
  • Dempster pitched five innings, he allowed seven runs, four earned and four walks.
 
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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Aramis Ramirez hits two three-run homers and a solo to boost the Cubs past the Astros. (AP)
Aramis Ramirez hits two three-run homers and a solo to boost the Cubs past the Astros. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 3
RBI 7
Houston

C. Johnson
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF4010110 .254
Angel Sanchez, SS4111011 .267
Lance Berkman, 1B3101220 .247
Hunter Pence, RF5011003 .265
Carlos Lee, LF5121000 .240
Jeff Keppinger, 2B3110102 .281
Chris Johnson, 3B4222011 .309
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
Jason Castro, C4100001 .177
Wesley Wright, P3000002 .000
    Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .000
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliz, 3B1000000 .214
Totals3678645  
Batting
2B - Angel Sanchez (3, Dempster), Carlos Lee (15, Dempster)
HR - Chris Johnson (2, Dempster)
RBI - Angel Sanchez (3), Lance Berkman (44), Hunter Pence (44), Carlos Lee (48), Chris Johnson 2 (15)
2-OUT RBI - Angel Sanchez (1), Lance Berkman (11), Hunter Pence (22), Carlos Lee (23)
SB - Michael Bourn (29, 2nd base off Dempster/Soto)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Berkman-Sanchez
PB - Jason Castro (2)
E - Jeff Keppinger (7, Throwing), Angel Sanchez (2, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wesley Wright 4.2661252 4.40
Wilton Lopez 0.1000010 4.17
Chris Sampson (BS,2) 0.2111011 6.04
Tim Byrdak 0.1000000 4.07
Brandon Lyon (L,5-4) 1322010 3.98
Gary Majewski 1455111 22.50
HBP - Colvin (by Wesley Wright)
Pitches-Strikes - Wesley Wright 92-57, Wilton Lopez 6-3, Chris Sampson 10-8, Tim Byrdak 2-2, Brandon Lyon 20-13, Gary Majewski 27-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wesley Wright 6-3, Chris Sampson 1-0, Gary Majewski 3-0
Batters Faced - Wesley Wright 23, Wilton Lopez 1, Chris Sampson 3, Tim Byrdak 1, Brandon Lyon 6, Gary Majewski 9
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Tyler Colvin, RF4210011 .270
Starlin Castro, SS5231001 .295
Derrek Lee, 1B4323110 .247
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5337022 .226
Marlon Byrd, CF4010101 .315
Alfonso Soriano, LF5011022 .271
Geovany Soto, C5221012 .293
Ryan Theriot, 2B4110000 .272
Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .139
   a- Xavier Nady, PH1000010 .220
    Andrew Cashner, P1000010 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
   b- Kosuke Fukudome, PH0100100 .251
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Totals3814141339  
a-struck out (passed ball) for Dempster in the 5th
b-walked for Marshall in the 8th
Batting
2B - Starlin Castro (13, Lyon), Derrek Lee (17, Lyon)
HR - Aramis Ramirez 3 (15, Wright, Wright, Majewski), Geovany Soto (12, Sampson)
SH - Ryan Dempster (11)
RBI - Starlin Castro (26), Derrek Lee 3 (44), Aramis Ramirez 7 (47), Alfonso Soriano (51), Geovany Soto (33)
2-OUT RBI - Aramis Ramirez 3 (19), Alfonso Soriano (21)
SB - Starlin Castro (4, 2nd base off Wright/Castro)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Ryan Theriot (7, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ryan Dempster 5874411 3.70
Andrew Cashner (W,1-3) 2000010 2.38
Sean Marshall (H,13) 1000020 1.88
Carlos Marmol 1000010 2.84
HBP - Sanchez (by Ryan Dempster)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 113-69, Andrew Cashner 16-13, Sean Marshall 7-7, Carlos Marmol 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 6-9, Andrew Cashner 3-2, Sean Marshall 1-0, Carlos Marmol 1-1
Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 29, Andrew Cashner 6, Sean Marshall 3, Carlos Marmol 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36401
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Tony Randazzo