Astros 6, Cubs 3

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hero: Marlon Byrd continues to provide a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dismal season. Byrd, now hitting .313, went 2-for-4 with a double and scored a pair of runs. It was the third straight multi-hit game for the 32-year-old center fielder, who has 21 multi-hit games in 50 starts.

Goat: It's become an alarming trend. Randy Wells (3-4) surrendered hits to the first five Houston batters he faced as the Cubs fell quickly behind 3-0. Wells allowed six runs (all earned) on nine hits while walking two and striking out two in 5 1/3 innings.

Key Play: With the Cubs trailing 3-1 with two outs in the top of the fourth, Mike Fontenot on first and Byrd on third, Koyie Hill laced a double into the right-field corner. Byrd trotted home and third-base coach Mike Quade challenged Houston right fielder Hunter Pence by waving around Fontenot. But Pence fired a bullet to second baseman Jeff Keppinger whose relay to catcher Kevin Cash beat Fontenot by two steps. Cash tagged a sliding Fontenot for the third out.

Comment: The Cubs (25-31) fell to 1-4 on a nine-game road trip against all three of the teams that are below them in the NL Central standings. The North Siders trailed first-place St. Louis (who host Milwaukee on Sunday night) by eight games but are just 3 1/2 games in front of last-place Houston. The Cubs are a division-worst 11-18 against NL Central opponents, with five of those wins coming against Milwaukee.

Next: Carlos Silva (7-0, 3.12 ERA) will try to continue the magic Monday (CSN, 11:35 a.m.) in his first start in nine days as the Cubs seek their first win in six games at Pittsburgh's PNC Park. The Pirates (23-33), who have claimed seven of their wins against the Cubs, will counter with former Milwaukee left-hander Dana Eveland (3-4, 6.45) who will be making his Pittsburgh debut after being acquired in a trade with Toronto on Thursday. Monday's game is a makeup of Wednesday's scheduled game that was postponed by rain.

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