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Lee homer powers Cubs over Astros

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CHICAGO (AP)

Ted Lilly pitched eight shutout innings to reach the 10-win mark for the seventh consecutive season and Derrek Lee hit a two-run homer Wednesday, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory over Aaron Boone and the Houston Astros. Boone was back in a major league game five months after having open-heart surgery. Lilly (10-8) allowed only four hits in joining Mark Buehrle, CC Sabathia and Johan Santana as the only active left-handers with 10 or more wins in seven straight years. Carlos Marmol pitched the ninth inning for his eighth save. He walked Hunter Pence with one out and gave up Carlos Lee's single before retiring Miguel Tejada and Geoff Blum. Lilly, who is 7-1 with a 1.72 ERA at home, walked none, struck out five and didn't allow any Houston runners past second base. He has beaten Houston four times this season. Astros rookie Felipe Paulino (2-7) pitched almost as well, giving up only four hits in six innings. Though he often overpowered Chicago hitters with his nearly 100 mph fastball, striking out seven, he was done in by one bad inning. Andres Blanco led off the fourth with a double and Derrek Lee followed with his 27th homer of the year. Lee, who after a slow start is batting .322 with 24 homers in 92 games since May 19, reached the 90 RBI mark for the fifth time in his career. Boone played first base for Houston and went hitless in three at-bats. Best remembered for his 2003 AL pennant-winning homer for the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox, the 36-year-old robbed Jeff Baker of a double with a diving stop in the third. The Cubs went 11-7 against the Astros this year, matching their most victories over Houston in one season. The Astros ended a nine-game road trip with only two victories, making it their worst multi-series trip this season. Like the Cubs, they have slumped badly the last month to fall well behind St. Louis in the NL Central. NOTES: Even though Astros CF Michael Bourn has reached base in 25 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors, he was given the day off. "I really didn't want to do it," manager Cecil Cooper said. "Michael's probably the MVP of our team. I'm aware of (the streak), but I need to play some of these other guys, and he's 1-for-8 against (Lilly)." Jason Michaels played CF and went 0-for-3. ... The Cubs activated RHP David Patton from the DL, giving them 29 players on their active roster.
Tagged: Cubs, Astros

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