Cubs
Astros
6 - 2 Final
  for this game

Trachsel solid as Cubs take over NL Central lead

Sep 14, 2007 - 3:47 AM By Andrew Ferraro PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) - Steve Trachsel won for just the second time in over three months to help the Chicago Cubs move back into first place.

Trachsel pitched five efficient innings and the Cubs belted four home runs to defeat the Houston Astros, 6-2, and reclaim the lead in the National League Central Division.

Winning for the first time since June 8, Trachsel (1-2) had his best start since joining the Cubs at the August 31 trading deadline. The veteran righthander allowed just two runs - both on solo home runs - on seven hits while walking three and striking out four.

Trachsel registered his first win in a Cubs' uniform since 1999 - the last of the seven seasons he spent with the club.

"I felt really strong coming out of the bullpen," Trachsel said. "I was kind of glad, for more reasons than one, that we scored four runs in the first. It took me awhile to calm down, to get the adrenaline level to calm down a little bit, so I had a little bit of control when I went out there."

Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Daryle Ward, Cliff Floyd and Alfonso Soriano also homered as the Cubs (75-71) moved one-half game ahead of the idle Milwaukee Brewers (74-71) in the NL Central.

Trachsel (1-2) was at his best with runners on base, working in and out of trouble throughout the game. Houston (63-82) left runners in scoring position in three of the five innings, but Trachsel did not allow runs in any of those innings.

The Cubs then got four innings of scoreless relief from their bullpen, which allowed just one hit.

"We thought if we got five or six innings out of him, we'd be pleased," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella about Trachsel. "As it was, he gave us five. Scotty (Eyre) came in and really threw the ball well. So did Woody (Kerry Wood). Then (Carlos) Marmol finished it up in the last two. We're not complaining."

The Astros have lost two straight and nine of 11 overall since winning three in a row from August 29-31.

The Cubs got four runs before Houston starter Woody Williams (8-15) got an out, touching up the veteran for four runs on five hits to start the contest.

Soriano led off with a long homer before Mike Fontenot and Floyd singled and walked, respectively. Ramirez gave the Cubs all the runs they would need with a three-run shot to left.

For Soriano, it was his eighth leadoff homer of the season.

"When you give your starting pitcher a four-run lead in the first inning, it's great to feel," Ramirez said. "He just needs to go out and throw strikes and make the guys hit the ball. Good things happen."

Williams settled down after the shaky first inning, retiring 11 in a row at one point, before Ward hit his third homer of the season with two outs in the fifth.

Ward's blast gave the Cubs a much-needed insurance run after the Astros hit a pair of solo shots in the fourth to get within 4-2. Carlos Lee led off the inning with a 356-foot shot and Mark Loretta hit his second homer in as many nights two outs later.

Floyd capped off the scoring with a solo shot in the seventh. He went 5-for-10 with two homers and a triple in the three-game series.

Williams left after seven innings, giving up six earned runs on 11 hits, while walking and striking out two each. The four home runs allowed was a season high for Williams, and the most since allowing three against Texas on May 20.

"It seemed like I made a lot of mistakes over the plate," Williams said. "It's just a frustrating thing, the first inning. We had a lot of chances to come back. We kept fighting and getting close, but basically without me out there today, we might have had a better chance."

The Astros are now a season-high 20 games under .500, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything for which to play.

"Everyone has pride in here and everyone is playing for, well everyone has different motivations," Loretta said. "When you are playing a team that is in the playoff race, you'd like to have an impact. In baseball, you can lax off on things like running, but you're always going to pitch as good as you can and try to hit as good as you can."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 6 11 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - STEVE TRACHSEL, SCOTT EYRE (6TH), KERRY WOOD (7TH), CARLOS
    MARMOL (8TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS, TREVER MILLER (8TH), DENNIS
    SARFATE (9TH) AND

    Sep 13 10:42 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CLIFF FLOYD (7) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF WOODY WILLIAMS.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 6, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A RAMIREZ (.316, 1-FOR-3, HR, 3 RBI)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 13 9:57 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DARYLE WARD (3) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF WOODY WILLIAMS.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 5, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: J KENDALL (.291, 1-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 13 9:21 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK LORETTA (4) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF STEVE TRACHSEL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 4, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: E MUNSON (.231, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 13 9:13 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS LEE (28) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF STEVE TRACHSEL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 4, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LAMB (.291, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 13 9:07 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - STEVE TRACHSEL
    HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.326, 14 HR, 58 RBI)
    C BIGGIO (.252, 10 HR, 47 RBI)
    L BERKMAN (.276, 29 HR, 90 RBI

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 13 8:18 PM
  • 5
    roots
    elfabuloso Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. AstrosSep 7 5:48 PM