Astros
Cubs
2 - 4 Final
  for this game

Soriano, Ramirez vault Cubs over Astros

Jul 22, 2011 - 10:42 PM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez both homered in a four-run fifth inning, and that offensive surge was enough to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.

Kosuke Fukudome joined Soriano and Ramirez with two hits for the Cubs, who improved to 3-5 on their 10-game homestand.

Chicago starter Carlos Zambrano (7-5) ran into trouble early in the game, but managed to limit the Astros to two runs on nine hits over six innings.

Michael Bourn collected three hits and knocked in a run for Houston, which was coming off its first series victory since June 17-19.

Bud Norris (5-7) surrendered the two home runs among nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.

The Astros certainly had their chances to seize control of the game, loading the bases with no outs in both the second and third innings. However, all the visitors could generate was one run when Clint Barmes grounded into a double play in the second.

Houston threatened again with runners on second and third in the fourth, and Bourn delivered with a two-out, RBI single to give Houston a 2-0 lead.

"It seemed like he settled down after the first couple innings. I thought his stuff was a lot better," Chicago manager Mike Quade said of Zambrano.

After wasting leadoff doubles in the previous two innings, the Cubs moved ahead in the decisive fifth frame. Soriano began the fifth by going deep for the first time since June 19, a blast to the front row seats in left field.

Darwin Barney and Zambrano followed with consecutive singles. Barney stole third base before scoring the tying run on Starlin Castro's sacrifice fly. Ramirez then crushed Norris' 1-1 offering over the wall in left-center.

"I just didn't execute that pitch to Ramirez," Norris said.

The Astros recorded just one hit against five Chicago relievers, with Sean Marshall pitching the ninth for his third save of the season.

Game Notes

Chicago snapped a five-game home skid against the Astros and avoided committing an error for a 10th straight game...The Astros and Cubs entered play with the majors' two worst records...Zambrano upped his career record against Houston to 16-8.






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  • Aramis Ramirez two-out, two-run Home Run (18) to left center scored Carlos Zambrano. Carlos Pena due up.

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  • Starlin Castro sacrifice fly out to left scored Darwin Barney. Runner on first with two outs and Aramis Ramirez due up.

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  • Alfonso Soriano lead-off Home Run (15) to left. Darwin Barney due up.

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  • Michael Bourn singled to right scored Clint Barmes. On the play, Humberto Quintero advances to third. Runners on first and third with two outs and Jose Altuve due up.

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  • Clint Barmes grounded into a double play, short to first scored Carlos Lee. Chris Johnson out at second. Brett Wallace advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Humberto Quintero due up.

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