Top of Lineup Leads Cubs to 5-4 Win Over Astros

Chicago now 5-5 for the season, second in NL Central

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    Chicago Cubs' Aramis Ramirez congratulates Darwin Barney after scoring in the second inning on a single by Marlon Byrd.

    Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd combined for seven hits, five runs and three RBIs and the Chicago Cubs held on for a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.

    Castro had three hits and scored three runs, Byrd drove in a pair of runs and Barney hit an RBI triple as the Cubs jumped on the Astros early, building a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning. Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs with a double in the first.

    Closer Carlos Marmol got the last four outs to help the Cubs to the win and give him his fourth save. Ryan Dempster (1-2) got his first win of the season, allowing four runs in 6 1-3 innings.

    Houston starter Nelson Figueroa (0-2) allowed eight hits and five runs in four innings.

    Houston's offense didn't get going until late. The Astros got a run in the fifth inning before a solo homer by Bill Hall and a two-run shot by Angel Sanchez got them within 5-4 in the seventh.

    Marmol later struck out Sanchez to end the eighth and allowed a hit and a walk in the ninth before striking out Joe Inglett to end the game.

    Hall hit the sixth pinch-hit homer of his career with a solo shot to right field that made it 5-2 in the seventh inning.

    Bourn followed with a double that bounced off the low wall in right field and back onto the field. Officials reviewed the play to see if it was a home run, but stayed with the original call.

    Sanchez got Houston within 5-4 with his first career home run, a two-run shot that landed in the Crawford Boxes in left field and chased Dempster.

    The Cubs got to Figueroa early when Alfonso Soriano's two-out, two-run double gave them a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Figueroa gave up a single to Castro and walked two of the first five batters he faced to set up the scores.

    Castro got his second hit of the game with a single in the with two outs in the second inning. He scored on triple by Barney that made it 3-0. Byrd's RBI single pushed the lead to 4-0.

    Castro singled again in the fourth inning and gave the Cubs their first stolen base of the season when he swiped second. Chicago was the only team in baseball without a stolen base entering Monday's game.

    He scored on a single by Byrd later in the inning to stretch the lead to 5-0.

    Carlos Lee singled in the second inning before Dempster walked Brett Wallace. He got out of that jam by retiring the next three batters to end the inning and fanned the next nine overall, striking out five. He didn't allow another hit until Chris Johnson's single with no outs in the fifth inning.

    Matt Downs drove Johnson in with a single that made it 5-1.

    An error by Ramirez and two walks by Dempster loaded the bases for the Astros in the sixth inning. He got out of the jam when Inglett grounded out to end the inning.