Chicago at Houston

Chi. Cubs
W: R. Dempster (1-2) L: N. Figueroa (0-2)
S: C. Marmol (4)
HR: CHC - None   HOU - B. Hall (1),A. Sanchez (1)

Cubs 5, Astros 4 wire reports

HOUSTON -- Nelson Figueroa knows he can pitch better than he has in his first two outings, and so does Astros manager Brad Mills.

Figueroa (0-2) allowed eight hits and five runs in four innings and the Chicago Cubs beat Houston 5-4 on Monday night. It was his second tough start this season after he gave up 10 runs, six earned, in just 5 1/3 innings in his first start.

"We know he is much better than that," Mills said. "He was just having problems today getting the ball over the plate and getting behind guys. But we've seen him and we know that that's not him and we know that he's going to be just fine."

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Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd combined for seven hits, five runs and three RBI to lead the Cubs. Castro had three hits and scored three runs, Byrd drove in a pair of runs and Barney hit an RBI triple as the Cubs jumped on the Astros early, building a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning. Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs with a double in the first.

The 36-year-old Figueroa said he shouldn't be thinking about slow progress.

"It seems to be baby steps, and I'm frustrated with that in itself," he said. "I'm not someone who should be a work in progress or looking at this as a positive. I'm frustrated. I hate losing first of all. I hate putting our team behind in a situation like this."

He ran into problems in the first, second and fourth innings, with a 1-2-3 third sandwiched in the middle.

"There's frustration all the way around," Figueroa said. "I can't continue to put us in a hole. I can't continue to work behind and give these guys a hole to climb out of."

What frustrated him most was that all the Cubs' runs came with two outs.

"It's two games, but that's a pattern I don't want to fall into," Figueroa said. "Most people would say it's a lack of focus, but I don't believe that. If balls were being hit off the wall or into the gaps, but I feel that I am making good pitches."

Even with the hole Figueroa put them in, the Astros were able to battle back, and Joe Inglett, who was getting a spot start at second, came up multiple times with a chance to get runs on the board, including in the ninth when he struck out for the final out.

"I blame the loss on me," he said. "I had the opportunity and didn't come through. Can't dwell on it. There was more opportunity for me to do something, to drive runs in, but it didn't happen."

Closer Carlos Marmol got the last four outs for Cubs, giving him four saves. Ryan Dempster (1-2) got his first win of the season, allowing four runs in 6 1-3 innings.

Houston's offense didn't get going until late. The Astros got a run in the fifth inning before a solo homer by Bill Hall and a two-run shot by Angel Sanchez pulled them to 5-4 in the seventh.

Hall hit the sixth pinch-hit homer of his career with a solo shot to right field that made it 5-2 in the seventh inning.

Bourn followed with a double that bounced off the low wall in right field and back onto the field. Officials reviewed the play to see if it was a home run, but stayed with the original call.

The Cubs got to Figueroa early when Soriano's two-out, two-run double gave them a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Figueroa gave up a single to Castro and walked two of the first five batters he faced to set up the scores.

Castro got his second hit of the game on a single with two outs in the second inning. He scored on a triple by Barney that made it 3-0. Byrd's RBI single pushed the lead to 4-0.

Castro scored again on a single by Byrd later in the inning to stretch the lead to 5-0.

Houston's Matt Downs drove Johnson in with a single that made it 5-1.

An error by Ramirez and two walks by Dempster loaded the bases for the Astros in the sixth inning. Dempster got out of the jam when Inglett grounded out to end the inning.


Houston RHP Alberto Arias, who missed last season after shoulder surgery and had tendinitis during spring training, threw to hitters on Sunday and is scheduled to do it again on Tuesday. ... Astros' reliever Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless eighth inning and hasn't allowed a run in six appearances this season.

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

D. Barney
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0

B. Hall
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Starlin Castro, SS5330020 .364
Darwin Barney, 2B3221200 .381
Marlon Byrd, CF5022013 .349
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000115 .289
Carlos Pena, 1B2000201 .174
Alfonso Soriano, LF4012002 .278
Tyler Colvin, RF3000113 .115
Geovany Soto, C4000012 .182
Ryan Dempster, P3000010 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   a- Blake DeWitt, PH1000000 .143
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Grabow in the 8th
2B - Alfonso Soriano (1, Figueroa)
3B - Darwin Barney (1, Figueroa)
RBI - Darwin Barney (3), Marlon Byrd 2 (4), Alfonso Soriano 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Darwin Barney (1), Marlon Byrd 2 (2), Alfonso Soriano 2 (4)
SB - Starlin Castro (1, 2nd base off Figueroa/Quintero)
Team LOB - 8
E - Aramis Ramirez (1, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Dempster (W,1-2) 6.1644392 6.30
John Grabow (H,2) 0.2100100 2.70
Sean Marshall (H,4) 0.2200010 1.80
Carlos Marmol (S,4) 1.1100130 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 115-69, John Grabow 17-10, Sean Marshall 12-9, Carlos Marmol 31-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 10-1, John Grabow 1-1, Sean Marshall 1-0
Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 29, John Grabow 4, Sean Marshall 4, Carlos Marmol 6
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5110033 .250
Angel Sanchez, SS5112022 .342
Hunter Pence, RF4000120 .293
Carlos Lee, LF5020021 .225
Brett Wallace, 1B3010202 .250
    Jason Bourgeois, PR0000000 .333
Chris Johnson, 3B3110102 .212
    Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Michaels, PH0000100 .000
Joe Inglett, 2B-3B5010028 .100
Humberto Quintero, C3000012 .190
Nelson Figueroa, P1000010 .500
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Downs, PH1011000 .333
    Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
   c- Bill Hall, PH-2B2121000 .235
a-walked for Lyon in the 9th
b-singled for Del Rosario in the 5th
c-homered for Abad in the 7th
2B - Michael Bourn (5, Dempster)
HR - Angel Sanchez (1, Dempster), Bill Hall (1, Dempster)
SH - Humberto Quintero (1)
RBI - Angel Sanchez 2 (6), Matt Downs (3), Bill Hall (2)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Downs (3)
SB - Jason Bourgeois (3, 2nd base off Marmol/Soto)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Johnson-Inglett
Houston Astros
Nelson Figueroa (L,0-2) 4855230 10.61
Enerio Del Rosario 1000200 3.18
Wilton Lopez 1000120 4.15
Fernando Abad 1000100 4.15
Mark Melancon 1000010 0.00
Brandon Lyon 1000010 8.10
WP - Nelson Figueroa (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Nelson Figueroa 88-56, Enerio Del Rosario 13-3, Wilton Lopez 26-18, Fernando Abad 18-11, Mark Melancon 11-8, Brandon Lyon 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nelson Figueroa 7-2, Enerio Del Rosario 1-1, Wilton Lopez 1-0, Fernando Abad 1-2, Mark Melancon 1-1, Brandon Lyon 2-0
Batters Faced - Nelson Figueroa 22, Enerio Del Rosario 4, Wilton Lopez 4, Fernando Abad 4, Mark Melancon 3, Brandon Lyon 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20175
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Rob Drake