Cubs catcher Geovany Soto’s home run in the bottom of the eighth inning was the game winning run. The Chicago Cubs took game one of the three-game set by beating their NL Central archrivals Houston Astros 5-4 in front of an attendance of 31,647.
When the game was deadlocked at 4-4 in the eighth, Soto sent reliever Wilton Lopez’s two-out 1-0 fastball out of Wrigley Field. The long solo shot is his 17th round-tripper of the season, and his second in two days.
The Astros opened the scoring in the second.
Cubs starter Casey Coleman struggled in the inning and gave up four runs to the opponents. Chris Johnson hit a lead-off homer for his seventh dinger of the season. Coleman struck out Brian Bogusevic looking but issued a walk to Matt Downs.
Jason Castro followed with a single. Downs moved to third on a fielding error by left fielder Alfonso Soriano and Castro reached second.
With two out, Coleman’s wild pitch scored Downs. He then walked Bourn and gave up back-to-back RBI singles to Jeff Keppinger and Hunter Pence. The Astros took a 4-0 lead.
The Cubs responded with three runs in the bottom third to cut the deficit to one run. Darwin Barney led off with a single. Two outs later, he reached second on Rodriguez’s wild pitch and scored on Blake DeWitt’s single.
Marlon Byrd blasted a two-run home run to left field for his 12th of the year.
The game-tying run happened in the sixth; Barney led off with his second single of the day. With one out, he hustled all the way from first to score on Jeff Baker’s line-drive double, which landed at the corner of the left-field wall.
Coleman has given up either hit or walk in six innings but the Cubs’ defense bailed him out each time he got into trouble.
They turned double plays in the third and fifth innings. And in the fourth, with Bourn attempting to score from third on Hunter Pence’s ground ball to third base, catcher Soto collided with Bourn at the home plate but he held onto third baseman Baker’s relay to retire the runner.
The Cubs starter finished the day with a no-decision giving up four runs with eight hits and five walks striking out two.
Manager Mike Quade sent three relievers on the mound, and they combined to shut out the Astros for the last three innings.
Marcos Mateo tossed a one-hit scoreless seventh inning. Andrew Cashner (2-5) credited with the win pitching in the eighth. Carlos Marmol received his 28th save of the year, his fourth in as many days.
Astros starter Rodriguez completed seven innings and allowed four runs and eight hits. He struck out six Cubs and walked only one. Lopez (5-2), who gave up the Cubs’ game-winning home run, was the losing pitcher of the game.
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