The Houston Astros defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-2 in 10 innings in the 2nd game of the season for both teams. The Cubs wasted a solid start from Ryan Dempster – 6 innings pitched, 2 earned runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. Dempster also had 5 strikeouts in the no decision.
Once again, the Cubs took an early 1-0 lead on a Derrek Lee RBI-single in the 3rd inning. After the Astros took a 2-1 lead, Alfonso Soriano homered for a second straight game to knot the game at 2 in the 8th inning.
But the Cubs bullpen was the story in this one. After pitching a scoreless 8th inning, Aaron Heilman struggled to start the 9th inning – allowing the 1st 2 batters to reach base on a single and a walk. Neal Cotts entered the game and put out the fire by retiring the next 3 batters and not allowing a run. But then Cotts struggled to open the 10th. Opening singles to Ivan Rodriguez and Lance Berkman forced manager Lou Pinella to bring in closer Kevin Gregg. Gregg got a flyout for the 1st out of the inning, but Rodriguez was able to tag up to the 3rd base. After intentionally walking Miguel Tejada, Gregg allowed a broken-bat single to Jeff Keppinger which plated the winning run for the Astros.
Not a great finish for the Cubs, and only 6 total hits leaves a lot to be desired on the offensive end. Brian Moehler tends to pitch well against the Cubs, so it’s looking like the Cubs may start the season 1-2 heading into a big weekend in Milwaukee against the hated Brewers at Miller Park.