Cubs Offense Erupts, Grab Series Victory In Texas

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Soriano Leads Bats In Victory

Alfonso Soriano hit a three run home run that capped a five run first inning, and the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano went on to take the series against Houston as a result. The other two runs in the inning were courtesy of a two RBI double by Jeff Baker.

Zambrano managed to hold down the fort up until the sixth inning. Then, the wheels started coming off. Thanks to an untimely error and home run, Big Z gave up five runs and was pulled without making it through the sixth frame. Having closed the gap to one run, it seemed like Houston would pull off another spectacular comeback. But the Cubs bullpen, led by Sean Marshall, shut down the Astros lineup for 3 1/3 innings.

The Cubs would add some much need insurance in the top of the ninth with a three run frame thanks to Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Marlon Byrd, and Aramis Ramirez. The extra runs may not even have happened, had Marlon Byrd not hustled down the line on a bunt attempt, causing an overthrow by Astros reliever Wilton Lopez.

The Cubs are off on Thursday, but will next travel to Colorado to take on the Rockies, who currently lead the NL West.

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Soriano Leads Bats In Victory

Alfonso Soriano hit a three run home run that capped a five run first inning, and the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano went on to take the series against Houston as a result. The other two runs in the inning were courtesy of a two RBI double by Jeff Baker.

Zambrano managed to hold down the fort up until the sixth inning. Then, the wheels started coming off. Thanks to an untimely error and home run, Big Z gave up five runs and was pulled without making it through the sixth frame. Having closed the gap to one run, it seemed like Houston would pull off another spectacular comeback. But the Cubs bullpen, led by Sean Marshall, shut down the Astros lineup for 3 1/3 innings.

The Cubs would add some much need insurance in the top of the ninth with a three run frame thanks to Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Marlon Byrd, and Aramis Ramirez. The extra runs may not even have happened, had Marlon Byrd not hustled down the line on a bunt attempt, causing an overthrow by Astros reliever Wilton Lopez.

The Cubs are off on Thursday, but will next travel to Colorado to take on the Rockies, who currently lead the NL West.

Continue

Cubs Offense Erupts, Grab Series Victory In Texas

After being denied the W in his first start, Carlos Zambrano finally managed to get his first win of the season last week at Milwaukee. The right-hander toughed it out through six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits along the way, but improved to 1-0 as a result.

He'll go for his second win of the season on Wednesday evening at Houston, as he takes on Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros. Zambrano is currently 1-0 on the season with a 5.25 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. His career numbers against Houston are much more favorable, as he's 14-8 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 29 starts against them. Of the current Astros, Michael Bourn and Carlos Lee will be the biggest threats this evening. Bourn is 6-for-16 with a double and five walks against Zambrano. Meanwhile, the "other Carlos" has given Big Z absolute fits over his career. Carlos Lee owns a .379 BA and 1.188 OPS against Zambrano, and has taken him deep five times over 58 at-bats.

Taking the mound for Houston will be Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez has had a bit of a tough start to the year. He's 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. Those numbers are largely thanks to a disastrous first start against Philadelphia, in which he gave up seven runs over just four innings. His second start went much better, as he held Florida to just one run over seven innings. He was still denied the win in that game, however, as Houston's bullpen blew up late. The Cubs will be hoping that the Wandy they see will be more like his first game of the season and less like his career numbers against the Cubs. Rodriguez is 5-4 with a career 3.79 ERA and 1.32 WHIP vs. Chicago.

Cubs that hit Wandy Rodriguez well include Jeff Baker, who has a .500 average against Rodriguez, and Geovany Soto, is 7-for-16.

First pitch in the game is at 7:10 P.M. CDT and the game will be televised on WGN.

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