Astros
Cubs
5 - 6 Final
  for this game

Lee's late blast gives Cubs comeback win over Astros

Sep 2, 2007 - 11:59 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Perhaps the Chicago Cubs are finally finding their power stroke.

Matt Murton hit a pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning and Derrek Lee belted his second blast in two days in the eighth to lift the Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the Houston Astros in the rubber game of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon.

Behind a homer by Lance Berkman, a rare solid start at Wrigley Field by Woody Williams and a couple of misplayed fly balls by left fielder Alfonso Soriano, the Cubs (70-65) faced a 5-1 deficit entering the sixth and looked in danger of losing a game to both Milwaukee (69-67) and St. Louis (67-66) in the National League Central standings.

"It is a big win, Milwaukee and St. Louis had won," Lee said. "It's crunch time, we needed to get this series."

Instead, Chicago rallied for two runs in the sixth off the Houston bullpen on a sacrifice fly by Soriano and an RBI single by rookie Ryan Theriot before pulling within 5-4 in the seventh on Murton's second pinch homer of the season against Trever Miller.

"The biggest thing I have been trying to do as of late is to slow the game down," Murton said. "I am trying to use my hands more and not be overly aggressive. I knew he was a side-arming lefty and I concentrated on staying slow and waiting for his off speed pitches. He gave me a good pitch to hit right over the plate and it worked out well."

In the eighth, Soriano delivered a one-out single to left off Chad Qualls (6-4) before Lee drove an 0-1 offering into the net above the left-center field fence for his 17th home run of the season and a 6-5 edge.

"I have been trying not to do too much in each at-bat," Lee said. "Yesterday when I hit the home run it was probably the easiest swing I have taken all year. I tried to duplicate that today."

Qualls took the blame for letting the game get away and denying the Astros a chance to win the series.

"It was truely my fault today," Qualls said. "We had a two-run lead going into the eighth inning and I should have held it into the ninth. I threw him a fastball and left it up. Lee is a good hitter and he hit it out of the ballpark, I tip my cap."

Coming into the season, the Cubs were expected to be among the top home-run hitting teams in the majors, but they entered Sunday third from the bottom. However, they did get two blasts in Saturday's 4-3 win.

"It's our biggest win of the year,"Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "That was a clutch, clutch home run by Mr. Lee. We talked the other day about the big boys getting going in crunch time, they have delivered big time the last two games."

Carlos Marmol (5-1) worked a scoreless eighth to pick up the win and Ryan Dempster logged a perfect ninth for his 25th save for Chicago, which remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee and two games ahead of St. Louis.

"That was awesome, that was a big win," Dempster said. "To be down early and to be able to catch up, was a huge for us. It was impressive to come back and beat a quality reliever like Qualls."

Berkman opened the scoring with a two-run homer off Chicago starter Rich Hill in the first inning. The switch-hitting Berkman drilled a 2-0 offering over the center field fence for his 27th homer of the season - fourth batting righthanded - and a quick 2-0 lead.

After Pence doubled in Williams, who led off the second with a hit, for a 3-0 edge, Berkman started another rally when Hill plunked him to begin the fifth.

Soriano then aided the Houston cause when Ty Wigginton stroked an outside breaking ball deep to left field one out later.

Soriano was tentative as he went back to the wall, and the ball hit shoulder high off the left field ivy, allowing Berkman to score and Wigginton to pull in with a double.

After Chris Burke flied out, Eric Bruntlett hit a drive to left that Soriano also seemed to drift back on. The ball bounced off the left field wall, and Wigginton scored for a 5-1 edge as Soriano heard a smattering of boos from the Wrigley crowd.

"I thought the fourth and fifth runs were a gift," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "There was a couple of balls in the ivy that could have been caught."

Williams, who entered 1-7 with a 5.31 ERA, allowed a run and four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

"I felt good. I thought I moved the ball around pretty well," Williams said. "Things like this happen when a starter only goes five innings in a game."

Hill allowed five runs and six hits in five innings.








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

    BATTERIES: HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS, MARK MCLEMORE (6TH), DAVE BORKOWSKI (6TH),
    TREVER MILLER (7TH), CHAD QUALLS (8TH) AND ERIC MUNSON
    CHN - RICH HILL, MIKE WUERTZ (6TH), KERRY WO

    Sep 2 5:29 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 5:27 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY DERREK LEE (17) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF CHAD QUALLS SCORED ALFONSO SORIANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5, CHICAGO CUBS 6
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M FONTENOT (.283, 3 HR, 28 RBI)

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 5:26 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MATT MURTON (6) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF TREVER MILLER.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5, CHICAGO CUBS 4
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.285, 0-FOR-3)

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 5:23 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN THERIOT SCORED JASON KENDALL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R THERIOT ON FIRST, C MONROE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5
    CHICAGO CUBS 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: D LEE (.311, 2-FOR-2, HBP, RBI)

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 4:39 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALFONSO SORIANO SCORED JACQUE JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C MONROE ON FIRST, J KENDALL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.279, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 4:38 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ERIC BRUNTLETT SCORED TY WIGGINTON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E BRUNTLETT ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: E MUNSON (.252, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 3:56 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TY WIGGINTON SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T WIGGINTON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BURKE (.223, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 3:51 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DERREK LEE SCORED RYAN THERIOT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D LEE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A RAMIREZ (.317, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 3:24 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED WOODY WILLIAMS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BIGGIO (.255, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 2:57 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS
    CHN - RICH HILL

    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.293, 19 HR, 43 RBI)
    R THERIOT (.281, 3 HR, 39 RBI)
    D LEE (.308, 16 HR, 69 RBI

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 2:39 PM
  • 5
    roots
    CubsnCards Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. CubsSep 2 2:03 PM