Astros 4, Cubs 0

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Heroes: Relievers Marcos Mateo, Sean Marshall, and Justin Berg set down the final nine Houston hitters.

Goat: Randy Wells (6-13), who lost for the sixth time in his last nine starts, allowed four runs - all earned - on nine hits in six innings while striking out three and walking two.

Key Plays: The Cubs were already trailing 4-0 but mounted a threat against Brett Myers (11-7) in the seventh when Tyler Colvin hit a one-out double and advanced to third on a Geovany Soto single. But Alfonso Soriano popped out to second baseman Jeff Keppinger and Micah Hoffpauir struck out to leave both runners stranded.

Comments: Myers is 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA in four starts against the Cubs this season. It was the 10th time the Cubs were shut out this season.

Starlin Castro, who entered Wednesday's play in fourth in the National League batting race, went 1-for-4 and is now hitting .317. Castro, who was benched in the first two games of the series by interim manager Mike Quade, also committed his 23rd error of the season in the first inning.

Next: After an off day Thursday, the Cubs open a nine-game road trip in Milwaukee on Friday (WGN, 7:10 p.m.).

Carlos Zambrano (7-6, 4.23 ERA) will return to the scene of his no-hitter almost two years from the date. Zambrano has stepped it up since returning to the starting rotation on Aug. 9, going 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in six outings. Big Z has won his last three starts - the first time he has accomplished that since July 12-22, 2009.

The Cubs have battered Milwaukee starter David Bush (7-11, 4.71) this season. The 30-year-old right-hander is 0-1 with a 7.47 ERA in three starts against the North Siders this season. Bush has allowed 23 hits - including six home runs - in 15 2/3 innings against the Cubs in 2010. The Pittsburgh native is 2-9 with a 5.47 ERA in 19 career games - including 18 starts - against the North Siders. Bush has allowed 18 home runs to Cubs hitters, including three to Aramis Ramirez and two each to Kosuke Fukudome and Soto.

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