The Houston Astros visited Wrigley Field tonight to kick off a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs.  It ended up as a hitting festival for the visitors as they scored five runs in the first inning and added another six more in the rest of the game to beat the home team by a final score of 11-5.

The Cubs had starting pitcher Carlos Silva (9-4) on the mound tonight, but he failed to deliver a winning chance for the Cubs.  In fact, he had a ridiculously bad outing; facing 11 Astros, he gave up a total of five runs (all earned), seven hits and two walks in a 41-pitch inning for the right-hander. 

Cubs manager Lou Piniella had to pull Silva out of the game after one complete inning, the shortest start Silva has experienced this year.  He surpassed his 1 2/3 innings pitched in his previous game on July 11 in Dodger Stadium where he gave up six runs and was ejected by first base umpire Brian Runge. 

To start the first inning, the Astros loaded the bases with singles by CF Michael Bourn and SS Angel Sanchez and a walk by 1B Lance Berkman, RF Hunter Pence, and LF Carlos Lee produced two runs each with no one out. 

The Cubs had to wait until Silva faced the seventh batter of the inning to register their first out; with bases loaded, they made 3B Chris Johnson hit into a double-play which scored Lee to make the score 5-0 for the Astros.    

The Astros widened their lead in the third.  Catcher Jason Castro hit a three-run homer, his second of the season, off long reliever Mitch Atkins to score 2B Jeff Keppinger and Johnson. 

Although the Cubs attempted to rally early in the game, they never created any real threat to the Astros.  They only managed to score five runs, including a two-run homer by 3B Aramis Ramirez (12th of the year) in winner pitcher of the game, Astro start Wandy Rodriguez’s (7-11) six innings pitched. 

Houston added three runs of insurance late in the game.  In the seventh inning, Chris Johnson hit his first ever Major League home run, a two-run shot off RP Justin Berg.  He also tripled to drive in Keppinger in the eighth.  He finished the night by scoring two runs with three hits and three RBI. 

The Astros (38-55), never considered as a good offensive team this year, had bombarded the Cubs tonight with a total of 17 hits in the game.  They will try to do the same tomorrow night in Wrigley Field; manager Brad Mills will put reliever Wesley Wright (0-0, 5.59) in the starting slot to face Ryan Dempster (8-7, 3.57) of the Cubs (42-52).

Read more MLB news on