Lee swats 2 home runs as Astros clob­ber Cubs

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

HOUS­TON — It’s cer­tainly too soon to know how much hit­ting coach Jeff Bag­well can help im­prove the Hous­ton Astros of­fense.

He al­ready ap­pears to be hav­ing an af­fect on Car­los Lee.

Lee hit two home runs, in­clud­ing the go-ahead homer in the sixth in­ning, and the Astros went on to an 8-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

“I had a good day,” Lee said. “Me and (Bag­well) were talk­ing about tak­ing a two-strike ap­proach, spread out a lit­tle and see what hap­pens, and it was suc­cess­ful.”

Bag­well, the for­mer Hous­ton All-Star, was named hit­ting coach July 11. Lee is hit­ting .239 this sea­son with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs. This was his first mul­ti­homer game in al­most three years.

The game was tied at 1 be­fore Lee con­nected for his 13th homer of the year, a two-run shot to left field. His sec­ond one, also to left field, scored Lance Berk­man and pushed the lead to 5-1 in the sev­enth.

Astros starter Bud Nor­ris (3-7) al­lowed four hits, an un­earned run and struck out seven in six in­nings.

“Bud didn’t let those in­nings get away from him,” man­ager Brad Mills said. “In the first in­ning, he was able to stop it at one run. That’s one thing that’s been a strug­gle.”

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