Rapid Reaction: Astros 6, Cubs 5

August, 16, 2011
8/16/11
10:08
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
HOUSTON -- A quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.


How it happened: Brian Bogusevic hit a ninth-inning grand slam off Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. The Cubs put up two first-inning runs in support of starter Ryan Dempster as Aramis Ramirez's RBI single plated Starlin Castro and Marlon Byrd's groundout scored Darwin Barney. Ramirez added his 22nd home run in the eighth. Tyler Colvin hit a homer in the sixth, fulfilled Cubs GM Jim Hendry’s prediction to reporters before Tuesday night’s game. Dempster had 87 pitches through four innings before bearing down and throwing only 30 over the next three.

What it means: The Cubs lost for the first time since Carlos Zambrano's blowup and exit to the disqualified list. The Cubs can win their fifth straight series for the first time since July 28-Aug. 27, 2008 if they win on Wednesday.

Outside the box: The Cubs spent $12 million on the June draft, signing 20 of their first 22 picks. Right-hander Dillon Maples, the team’s 14th-round pick, was paid $2.5 million to sign. Owner Tom Ricketts rolled up his sleeves and got involved in the signings of Maples and first-round pick Javier Baez. … Right-hander Andrew Cashner threw to live hitters for the first time as he attempts to come back from a right rotator cuff strain. Cashner will throw another session against live hitters on Friday and then one in the bullpen on Sunday before accepting a minor-league assignment.

What’s next: Cubs right-hander Casey Coleman (2-4, 7.23) fills Zambrano’s spot in the rotation on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. He’ll oppose Astros right-hander Bud Norris (5-8, 3.55).

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.286 13 64 53
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 30
RBIA. Rizzo 71
RA. Rizzo 81
OPSA. Rizzo .889
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAT. Wood 4.72
SOT. Wood 131