Cubs
Astros
3 - 2 Final
  for this game

Cubs move into tie for NL Central lead

Sep 13, 2007 - 4:12 AM By Andrew Ferraro PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) - The Chicago Cubs are hoping this is the game that gets lefthander Rich Hill back on track.

After giving up 14 earned runs in his last three starts, Hill pitched seven strong frames as the Cubs beat the Houston Astros, 3-2, on Wednesday.

Cliff Floyd homered and tripled and Ryan Theriot drove in a pair for the Cubs, who won for the first time in five tries here to pull even in the National League Central with the Milwaukee Brewers (74-71).

Hill, who gave up six earned runs at Pittsburgh last Friday and five earned runs against Houston on September 2, allowed just one run and three hits, striking out seven and walking three.

"Yeah, this is a huge, huge win and it was time for me to step up," Hill said. "In my previous two outings, I don't feel that I was throwing the ball all that poorly, but I didn't get the results.

"I just wanted to come out there today and keep a good mental frame of mind."

Bobby Howry pitched a scoreless eighth despite giving up three hits and Ryan Dempster made it interesting in the ninth, allowing a run before inducing a double play to end the contest and earn his 26th save.

"This is the kind of game that should really get us back on track," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "You have to think that the worm has turned. We got out of a real jam there in the ninth. I mean they had a runner on third, the tying run, with no one out.

"I really think this will get us going."

Hill (9-8) was hardly tested by the stumbling Astros, who have lost six of seven overall. After rookie Hunter Pence singled in the first inning, Hill did not allow another hit until Mark Loretta reached on an infield single in the fourth.

Loretta broke up the shutout with a 348-foot solo blast to lead off the seventh.

Rookie Matt Albers (4-8) pitched well for the Astros but took the loss after getting poor run support again. In Albers' last five starts, Houston has not scored more than four runs in any of them.

Albers threw 102 pitches in six innings, allowing just three runs while striking out three and walking one.

"I felt good and I just wanted to forget about my last outing (seven earned runs at Milwaukee on September 5)," Albers said. "I just put that out of my mind and decided to throw strikes and go as deep in the game as I could.

"I did all right but (Hill) was pretty lights out tonight."

Hill on the other hand, got all the run support he would need in the second inning when the first four batters of the inning combined to plate a pair of runs.

First, Floyd led off with his sixth homer of the year before Mark DeRosa and Jason Kendall followed with back-to-back singles. With runners on first and third, Theriot reached out and hit a sacrifice fly to right.

After the game, Piniella told reporters that he told Floyd the veteran outfielder was his "pick to click" for the game.

"Yeah, and he put a lot of pressure on me with that," Floyd said. "I felt really good in there tonight and I have been working really hard to get it back. Right now I am just trying to get my swing back. We needed this one bad and we knew what happened in Pittsburgh today (a 7-4 win over the Brewers).

"It's scoreboard-watching time."

Chicago extended its lead to 3-0 in the third when Floyd's line drive to center was misplayed by Pence. It was ruled a triple and Floyd scored two batters later when Theriot reached on an infield single.

"We had a chance in this one," Astros interim manager Cecil Cooper said. "It was pretty exciting and I thought we really had a shot at it. Albers did a real good job for us tonight and if he keeps pitching like this, he is going to be OK."








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

    BATTERIES: CHN - RICH HILL, BOBBY HOWRY (8TH), RYAN DEMPSTER (9TH) AND JASON
    KENDALL
    HOU - MATT ALBERS, BRIAN MOEHLER (7TH), DAVE BORKOWSKI
    (9TH) AND HUMBERTO QUINTERO

    HOME

    Sep 12 11:00 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY MIKE LAMB SCORED JOSH ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LAMB ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L SCOTT (.258, 0-FOR-3)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 12 10:54 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 12 10:54 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK LORETTA (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF RICH HILL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.291, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 12 10:07 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN THERIOT SCORED CLIFF FLOYD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R THERIOT ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    HOUSTON 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R HILL (.127, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 12 9:15 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RYAN THERIOT SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J KENDALL ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2
    HOUSTON 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R HILL (.130, 0 HR, 5 RBI)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 12 8:35 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CLIFF FLOYD (6) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF MATT ALBERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, HOUSTON 0
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.287, 9 HR, 68 RBI)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 12 8:30 PM