Cubs 9, Astros 5

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hero: Alfonso Soriano hit his fourth home run of the season - a three-run shot during the Cubs' five-run first inning - and, with help from a Starlin Castro relay throw, gunned down Houston's Brett Wallace at the plate when Wallace tried to score from first on a Matt Downs double in the second inning.

Goat: Tyler Colvin went 0-for-4 while striking out three times as his average dropped to .147.

Key Play: Marcos Mateo relieved starter Carlos Zambrano (2-0) with a runner at first and two outs during Houston's five-run sixth inning and retired Jason Michaels on a foul pop to shortstop Castro, protecting the Cubs' 6-5 lead.

Comments: Zambrano (5 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 4 SO), who also hit his 22nd career home run with nobody aboard in the sixth, won his 10th consecutive decision. Big Z's last loss came during his meltdown at Comiskey Park last June 25. ... Castro and Aramis Ramirez each had three hits. ... Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood set the Astros down in order in the seventh and eighth respectively, and Carlos Marmol set down the next three hitters after issuing a leadoff walk to Downs in the ninth.

Next: After an off day Thursday, the Cubs (6-6) open a three-game series at Colorado (8-2) on Friday (WCIU, 7:40 p.m.) with Matt Garza (0-1, 5.68 ERA) opposing Colorado right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (2-0, 2.77).

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