It can’t get worse than losing two out of three games to the Pirates, right? Well, Cubs fans, it certainly can. Coming off their series loss to Pittsburgh, the Cubs faced off against Houston on Monday afternoon and were bludgeoned by the second worst team in baseball. The Cubs committed three errors and gave up sixteen hits, which seems like typical Cubbies baseball at this point in the season. Outfielder Alfonso Soriano also left the game in the first inning after straining his quad.
Rodrigo Lopez made his first start of the 2011 season, trying to add some fresh life to a bad rotation. It was a bad first impression for the fans at Wrigley, as Lopez gave up six runs on 10 hits in 4.2 innings. However, the Cubs were tied at that point, having scored six runs off of Houston starter Aneury Rodriguez. Reliever Jeff Samardzija picked up the loss, giving up two runs in 1.2 innings after Lopez left the game. John Grabow and Scott Maine finished off the game for the Cubs, giving up a combined four runs in 2.2 innings. The Cubs’ offense did manage 10 hits but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Astros’ attack. The Cubs are now 23-29 and 7.5 games back in the National League Central.
There were a few positives for the Cubs on Monday, however. First baseman Carlos Pena hit his seventh home run of the season, catcher Geovany Soto was back in the starting lineup, Matt Garza is expected back on Sunday for a start against the Cardinals, and outfielder Tony Campana stole four bases (the first time a Cub has accomplished the feat since Juan Pierre in 2006). The Cubs and Astros will face off again tomorrow night, as Carlos Zambrano will face the Astros’ Jordan Lyles.