Cubs 5, Astros 4

By Chris Rewers on Monday, April 11, 2011

Heroes: The first two hitters in the Cubs' lineup - Starlin Castro (3-for-5) and Darwin Barney (2-for-3) - combined for five hits and scored all five of the Cubs' runs in the first four innings against Houston starter Nelson Figueroa (0-2).

Goat: Mike Quade should not have allowed Cubs starter Ryan Dempster (1-2) to take the mound in the seventh inning. After Dempster issued a pair of two-out walks in the sixth, he was hammered in the seventh by three successive hitters - Bill Hall (home run), Michael Bourn (double), and Angel Sanchez. A game the Cubs had been leading comfortably 5-1 was transformed into a one-run game in a five-minute span. Dempster (6 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 9 SO) exited after 115 pitches.

Key Plays: The Astros were threatening with runners on the corners and one out in the bottom of the eighth, but failed to score after Sean Marshall struck out Bourn with a curveball and Carlos Marmol fanned Sanchez with a slider.

Comment: It only took 10 games. Castro stole the Cubs' first base of the season in the fourth inning.

Next: James Russell (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his first major league start Tuesday (CSN, 7:05 p.m.) as the Cubs (5-5) try to break the .500 mark for the third time this season. The Astros will counter with their best pitcher, Brett Myers (0-0, 2.03 ERA)

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