Astros overpower Cubs early, cruise to victory
CHICAGO — Jason Castro hit a three-run homer, Carlos Lee had a two-run double in a five-run first inning and the Houston Astros went on to beat the Chicago Cubs 11-5 on Monday night.
Wandy Rodriguez (7-11) gave up five runs in six innings but earned the win because the Astros spotted him an 8-0 lead.
Hunter Pence also had a two-run single in the first inning and Chris Johnson hit a two-run shot in the seventh for his first major league homer. He finished a double short of the cycle.
Carlos Silva’s slide after starting the season 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA continued. He was tagged for five runs on seven hits and two walks in one inning. In his last two starts, Silva (9-4) has allowed 11 runs over 21⁄ innings.
Aramis Ramirez hit at tworun homer and Tyler Colvin added a solo shot in the sixth inning for the Cubs, who are 15-26 against NL Central division opponents.
After winning three of four against the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend, the Astros pounded Cubs pitching for a season-high 11 runs and 17 hits. The 17 hits were most given up in a game by Cubs pitching this season.
Despite coming into the game with the third-fewest runs in baseball this season, the Astros knocked Silva out after one inning. Silva allowed back-to-back singles to Michael Bourn and Angel Sanchez to start the game, then walked Lance Berkman to load the bases before Pence followed with a two-run single.
Lee doubled down the leftfield line, scoring Pence from first. Lee scored on Johnson’s double-play grounder. The Astros sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning and they were 7 for 8 the first time through the lineup.
The Astros will recall Wesley Wright from Triple-A Round Rock before tonight’s game against the Cubs. Wright is scheduled to make his first career big league start.