After a breakout rookie campaign, Randy Wells (3-4) with some run support was poised for another great season. Thus far, Wells has pitched himself in quite the sophomore slump. Most of Wells’ trouble has come in the 1st inning of his starts.

Just 2 starts ago, Wells allowed 6 straight hits vs. the Cardinals to start the game. Fast forward to Sunday, the Cubs’ starter allowed 5 consecutive hits to the Astros (22-35). Wells’ 1st inning struggles put the Cubs in a 3-0 hole early.

Wells would settle down, pitching zeros for the next 4 innings. Unfortunately, the Astros touched Wells for another 3 runs in the 6th. Wells’ day was over after pitching only 5.1 innnigs and allowing 6 runs on 9 hits while walking and striking out 2.

Andrew Cashner and Bob Howry combined to shut out the Astros for the last 2.2 innings of play.

Chicago (25-31) pounded out 12 hits, yet were only able to cross the plate 3 times. The Cubs received multi-hit games from Kosuke Fukudome (2-5), Marlon Byrd (2-4), and Ryan Theriot (2-2).

Starlin Castro went 0-3 but did have an RBI sac fly in the 2nd. Koyie Hill who got his 2nd consecutive start behind the dish chipped in an RBI double in the 4th. And finally, Xavier Nady pinch hit in the 8th and singled in Derrek Lee for the Cubs’ last run.

With the loss, the Cubs fell to 3-11 vs. the Astros and Pirates during the 2010 season. In past years, the Cubs beat up on the bottom dwellers of the NL Central. Chicago falls to 8 games out of 1st place and only 3.5 games out of LAST place.

The Cubs will travel to Pittsburgh on Monday, to make up a game that was rained out from last week. Carlos Silva (7-0) will look to continue his magnificent season while the Pirates will send Dana Eveland (3-4) to the mound.

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