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With Trade Rumors Swirling, Ted Lilly Takes Mound For Cubs

(Sports Network) - Slumping lefty Ted Lilly faces a team against which he's had career-long success tonight, when the Chicago Cubs meet the Houston Astros in the second test of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

In Monday's opener, Ryan Theriot hit his first home run of the season and Carlos Silva worked five innings to push Chicago past Houston, 5-2.

Theriot finished with a pair of hits and Alfonso Soriano doubled twice, scored a run and drove in a run to lift the Cubs to their third win in four games.

Silva (10-4) yielded a lone run on five hits while walking one and fanning four for Chicago. Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the win and earn his 19th save of the season.

Wesley Wright (0-1) absorbed the loss in his second big-league start after giving up four runs on eight hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out four for the Astros, who have dropped three out of four.

Lilly, rumored to be a hot commodity on the trade market as the non-waiver transaction deadline approaches at the end of the month, has won seven of eight decisions in 11 career starts against Houston while maintaining a stingy 2.36 earned run average in 72 1/3 innings.

He pitched well enough for an eighth win when facing the Astros in his most recent start on July 21, scattering seven hits and allowing a single run in 7 1/3 innings of a game the Cubs eventually lost, 4-3, at Wrigley Field.

The tough-luck no-decision is part of a recent rough stretch for the 34-year- old Californian, who is winless in four starts since defeating Pittsburgh on June 29. He's 0-2 with two no-decisions in the subsequent efforts, while allowing 28 hits and 20 runs in 24 2/3 innings.

A 1996 draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lilly is 1-4 in seven road starts this season.

Houston counters with red-hot right-hander Brett Myers, who by contrast, has not lost since June 29.

The 29-year-old Jacksonville product, who'll turn 30 next month, has beaten St. Louis and Pittsburgh and racked up a pair of no-decisions in his last four starts, while giving up just 19 hits and six runs in 28 2/3 innings.

Myers also got a tough-luck no-decision after facing Lilly in the aforementioned July 21 game at Wrigley, allowing five hits and a run with eight strikeouts in seven innings in Houston's one-run win. He's pitched at least seven innings in three straight starts and has struck out 17 batters while walking just three.

Lifetime against the Cubs, Myers is 8-3 with a pair of complete games and a 2.52 ERA in 85 2/3 innings. He's unbeaten so far in 2010 at home, having gone 5-0 in nine starts.

Houston has won six of 10 matchups with the Cubs this season.