Ramirez hits 3 homers; Astros squander 7-1 lead
CHICAGO — Ar ami s Ramirez hit three home runs and drove in seven runs to help Chicago rally to beat the Houston Astros 14-7 on Tuesday night, hours after Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced he will retire at the end of the season.
Ramirez hit two three-run homers and a solo shot. It was the fourth three-homer game of his career.
Derrek Lee hit a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh and Geovany Soto tied the game with a solo shot in the sixth inning for the Cubs, who came back after trailing 7-1 in the fifth inning.
Ramirez hit his first homer of the night in the fourth inning off Wesley Wright. He was called up before the game from Triple-A Round Rock for his first major league start, allowed six runs and six hits in 42⁄ innings.
Starlin Castro led off the seventh with a double off Astros reliever Brandon Lyon (5-4). Lee followed with an RBI double to left-center and scored on Alfonso Soriano’s two-out RBI single to give the Cubs a 9-7 lead.
Lee also had a two-run single in the eighth and Ramirez hit his third home run of the game, a three-run shot off Astros reliever Gary Majewski.
The Cubs sent 10 hitter to the plate in the fifth and eighth innings.
After sitting through a long a five-run first inning in Monday night’s blowout loss, Piniella had to endure a four-run second inning on Tuesday, that consisted of one error, three walks and a hit batter. The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate, but had only two hits in the inning.
Chris Johnson was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs for the Astros. After hitting his first major league homer Monday night, Johnson hit his second one Tuesday.
Trailing 7-1, the Cubs rallied in the fifth. Soto led off the inning with a single, then Ryan Theriot hit a grounder to Jeff Keppinger at second base, Keppinger made an errant throw that rolled into left-field, moving Soto to third and Theriot ended up at second.
Ramirez hit his second home run of the night, a three-run shot to left-center to get the Cubs within 7-6.
Soto tied the game in the sixth inning with a leadoff homer.