--3B Chris Johnson was out of the lineup a day after being hit by a Jeff Samardzija pitch in the left arm. The arm was still sore when Johnson reported to the ballpark, and INF Matt Downs went 2-for-3 in his place.
--LHP Fernando Abad became the latest Astros victim of Cubs RHP Carlos Zambrano's home-run barrage. Zambrano obliterated an Abad offering 412 feet in the sixth inning. Of Zambrano's 22 career home runs -- a record for Cubs pitchers -- five have come against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
--INF Matt Downs, who started in place of the injured Chris Johnson, made the most of his opportunity as he did all spring and so far this young season. He went 2-for-3 with his third double of the year and his first home run -- a two-run blast -- as the Astros' rally fell short of tying the game against Carlos Zambrano, who had been staked to a 5-0 lead early. "We knew he was going to challenge us because he had that lead," Downs said.
--LHP Wandy Rodriguez took the loss on Wednesday, allowing five runs to the Cubs in the first inning and watching his ERA balloon to 7.31 for the season. "Bad day, man, that first inning," Rodriguez said. "That's all you can say."
--2B Bill Hall extended his hitting streak to eight games after a slow start but said that the team is still just a hit or two short. "We're still just that one big hit away from getting over the top," Hall said. "I say it every day, but we're close. We're real close to being unbelievable. We're playing unbelievable. We're not playing bad at all."
BY THE NUMBERS
0 -- Series won for the Astros through their first four series of the season. They have won a game in three of the four but have never broken through for the second victory.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I prefer to stay here. 7:05 is the best time of the day." -- Brad Mills, on his preference for Wednesday's position of the dugout rather than the luxury box he was forced to after being suspended for Tuesday's game.
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