CHICAGO (AP) — Jason Castro hit a three-run homer, Carlos Lee had a two-run double in a five-run first inning and the Houston Astros went on to beat the Chicago Cubs 11-5 on Monday night.
Wandy Rodriguez (7-11) gave up five runs in six innings but earned the win because the Astros spotted him an 8-0 lead.
Hunter Pence also had a two-run single in the first inning and Chris Johnson hit a two-run shot in the seventh for his first major league homer and finished a double short of the cycle.
Carlos Silva's slide after starting the season 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA continued. He was tagged for five runs on seven hits and two walks in one inning. In his last two starts, Silva (9-4) has allowed 11 runs over 2 1-3 innings.
Aramis Ramirez hit at two-run homer and Tyler Colvin added a solo shot in the sixth inning for the Cubs, who fell 10½ games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. The Cubs are 15-26 against NL Central divisional opponents.
After winning three of four against the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend, the Astros pounded Cubs pitching for a season-high 11 runs and 17 hits.
The 17 hits were most given up in a game by Cubs pitching this season.
Despite coming into the game with the third fewest runs in baseball this season, the Astros knocked Silva out after one inning. Silva allowed back-to-back singles to Michael Bourn and Angel Sanchez to start the game.
Silva, who was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in his last start at Los Angeles on July 11, stared down home plate umpire Tony Randazzo after not getting a called strike to Berkman. Silva ended up walking Berkman to load the bases then Pence followed with a two-run single.
Lee doubled down the left-field line, scoring Pence from first. Lee scored on Johnson's double play grounder. The Astros sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning and they were 7 for 8 the first time through the lineup.
Silva had his shortest start since pitching 2-3 of an inning on May 30, 2008, vs. Detroit, while with Seattle.
The Astros added on in the third inning. Cubs reliever Mitch Atkins walked Jeff Keppinger and gave up a single to Johnson before Castro homered to right. It was his second of the season and gave Houston an 8-0 lead. It was the first home run by a Houston catcher that drove in at least three runs since Brad Ausmus hit a grand slam in Aug. 5, 2006, at Arizona.
Geovany Soto scored on Colvin's groundout in the third inning.
Derrek Lee doubled in the fourth inning and went to third on a wild pitch then scored on Ramirez's sacrifice fly.
Colvin led off the sixth with his 13th homer of the season. One out later, Lee doubled and Ramirez followed with a two-run homer to get to 8-5.
But Johnson put an end to a potential Cubs rally with a two-run line drive to right for his first home run of his career in the seventh and had an RBI triple in the eighth.
NOTES: The Astros will recall Wesley Wright from Triple-A Round Rock before Tuesday night's game against the Cubs. Wright is scheduled to make his first career start. Earlier in the season, Wright pitched out of the bullpen for Houston. He allowed six runs over 9 2-3 innings in six relief appearances without a decision. ... Castro ended the night with two errors at shortstop for the Cubs. ... Sanchez had hits. He has 17 career hits and his last multihit game was also a three hit game on Oct. 1, 2006, at Detroit while with the Royals.