Cubs Hold on for 5-4 Win Over Astros in Houston – Wrigley Field 4/12/11

Posted on 12 April 2011 by Lou

The Cubs wins never seem to be pretty this year, but with this club, any win is a good win.  Ryan Dempster was dominant for 6 innings (1 ER on just 3 hits), but once he got over the 100-pitch count, he seemed to lose a little zip and control on his pitches.  The Astros rallied with an inside the park home run by Bill Hall and a 2-run home run by Angel Sanchez in the bottom of the 7th inning off of Dempster to cut the Cubs lead to 5-4.  John Grabow made it interesting by allowing the first two batters he faced to reach base with a walk and a hit with 1 out.  But Grabow was able to preserve the 1-run lead by inducing a flyout and groundout to end the threat.  It didn’t get any easier in the 8th as Sean Marshall allowed 2 runners with 2 outs, but Closer Carlos Marmol ended the threat by striking out Sanchez to end the inning.  And Marmol had some issues of his own in the 9th (a 2-out walk and single to put the go-ahead runs on base), but he was able to strike out Joe Inglett to pick up his 4th save of the season and get the Cubs back to .500 at 5-5.  It was Dempster’s first win of the season.

Starlin Castro was the Cubs hitting star.  As the leadoff hitter, Castro had 3 hits and scored 3 runs to pace the Cubs out to an early 5-0 lead.  Darwin Barney also looked good in the 2-hole, going 2 for 3 with 2 walks, 2 runs scored and an RBI.  Marlon Byrd had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s, while Alfonso Soriano came through with a clutch — yes I said the word clutch — 2-out, 2-run double in the 1st inning to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

James Russell gets his 1st start of the season replacing Andrew Cashner in the starting lineup.  Russell squares off against Bret Myers who has been almost unhittable in his 1st 2 games against the Reds and Phillies.  Myers has allowed just 3 ER and 9 hits in those 2 games, although he did not receive a decision in either start.  Let’s see if the Cubs can inch back over.500 with a win…

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