Cubs
Astros
2 - 5 Final
  for this game

Williams hands Cubs third straight loss

Aug 8, 2007 - 4:53 AM By Gene Duffey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) - Something had to give.

In a battle of struggling starting pitchers, Woody Williams pitched six solid innings to outduel Sean Marshall as the Houston Astros posted a 5-2 triumph over the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night.

Williams and Sean Marshall each entered having won just once in their last six starts. The Astros righthander broke through thanks to some timely hitting by his teammates, and Marshall took the loss because of one bad inning.

"So many games they gave me four or five runs and I've done a poor job holding the lead," Williams said of his teammates. "That was nice tonight."

The game was tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Williams left for a pinch hitter. The Astros followed with three straight hits and scored four runs off Marshall in the inning.

"I don't know we exactly tattoed the ball," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "We found some holes."

The Cubs, lost their third straight to fall 1 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National league Central.

"Good teams go through droughts," Marshall (5-6) said. "The Brewers went through one last month. We just have to bounce back tomorrow and swing the bats.

"We just need a game where we swing the bats and score some runs and then go from there," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said.

Williams (6-12) couldn't find the strike zone in the first inning. He walked three of the first four batters and gave up a bloop single to rookie Mike Fontenot. He walked Cliff Floyd with the bases loaded for the first run of the game.

"I was worried in the first inning," Garner said. "We had some difficulties the last 10 days (in the first inning)."

"I was just able to find the plate," Williams said of his success. "I think it was moving around the first inning. I didn't get comfortable and locked in. I don't feel I was reaching out and finishing my pitches the first inning."

But Williams composed himself and struck out Mark DeRosa, retired Jacque Jones on a pop to shortstop and got Jason Kendall on a fly to right to get out of the inning.

"After the first inning they were digging in and swinging from their heels," said Williams, who struck out seven. "I was fortunate to make some good pitches. The ones I threw over the middle of the plate they missed."

The Cubs were 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position for the game.

Houston tied the game in the second inning on a 404-foot home run by Jason Lane, his seventh of the season. Lane was recalled from Class AAA Round Rock July 23 when rookie Hunter Pence was injured and entered the game batting a lowly .165.

"It's frustrating because my average is obviously down," Lane said. "But I feel like I've been pretty productive with my at-bats and helped us win some games. I didn't know I'd been in there every day since (I got called up). I'm just happy to get some consistent at-bats."

The Astros took a 5-1 lead in the sixth.

Brad Ausmus led off with a double, pinch hitter Chris Burke sacrificed him to third and Craig Biggio scored Ausmus with a ground ball single through a drawn-in infield, the 2,023rd hit of his career, tying him with Lou Brock for 22nd on the all-time list.

"The first two times I squarted the bat on the ball," Biggio said. "The third baseman made a good play on the first and the shortstop made a good play on the second. You get lucky sometimes and get one through."

Carlos Lee doubled in a run in the rally, his 92nd RBI of the season.

"Why give up?" responded Lee when asked if the Astros were still in the race. "We're playing against the Cubs, then Milwaukee."

Williams had already thrown 116 pitches, two short of his season high, through six innings. He gave up four hits, all singles, struck out seven and walked four.

Marshall surrendered seven hits and five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Matt Murton, who entered the game on a double-switch in the bottom of the sixth, led off the seventh with a homer to left-center off reliever Dave Borkowski to cut Houston's lead to 5-2.

"It's never easy to replace a guy like (Alfonso) Soriano," Murton said. "He brings a lot to the club. You don't replace him. All you can do is go out and pick up the pieces and do the best you can."

Chad Qualls logged the eighth and Brad Lidge struck out the side in the ninth for his seventh save.

"If we had the lead in the seventh, we were going to win," Lee said.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 6 0
    HOUSTON 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 x 5 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - SEAN MARSHALL, KERRY WOOD (6TH), RYAN DEMPSTER (8TH) AND JASON
    KENDALL
    HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS, DAVE BORKOWSKI (7TH), CHAD QUALLS
    (8TH), BRAD LIDGE (9TH) AND BR

    Aug 7 10:38 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MATT MURTON (2) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF DAVE BORKOWSKI.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2, HOUSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.280, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 10:00 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TY WIGGINTON SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, T WIGGINTON ON SECOND, C LEE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    HOUSTON 5 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J LANE (.171, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 9:54 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED MARK LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C LEE ON SECOND, L BERKMAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.280, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 9:50 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, M LORETTA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.301, 1-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 9:47 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CRAIG BIGGIO SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C BIGGIO ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.281, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 9:42 PM
  • 15
    roots
    bbj9302 Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 8:39 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON LANE (7) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF SEAN MARSHALL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: E BRUNTLETT (.258, 0 HR, 9 RBI)

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 8:38 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 1 1 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - SEAN MARSHALL
    HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BIGGIO (.245, 7 HR, 38 RBI)
    M LORETTA (.283, 2 HR, 30 RBI)
    L BERKMAN (.257, 19 HR, 69 RBI)

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 8:21 PM
  • 10
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    Marco4 Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 5:48 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mark Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. AstrosAug 7 12:39 PM