Published November 20, 2014
Chris Volstad's elusive search for his first victory as a member of the Chicago Cubs continues.
Jose Altuve recorded three hits and scored twice, while Brett Wallace and Fernando Martinez hit three-run home runs, as the Houston Astros pounded the Cubs, 10-1, in the middle contest of a three-game set at Wrigley Field.
Scott Moore also joined the three-hit club with two runs scored, two doubles and a solo home run. The run support was more than enough for Lucas Harrell (10-8), who yielded just one run on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over eight frames. All but one Houston regular finished with at least one hit, as the Astros snapped a two-game losing streak.
"We got pitches to drive and we drove them. I think was key tonight. We had a lot of extra-base hits," Moore said.
Volstad (0-9) was hit around to the tune of four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts over five frames. He hasn't picked up a victory in 12 starts during his first season with the Cubs after coming over in an offseason trade from Miami.
"There was nothing real crisp going on," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said about Volstad. "He didn't have command of his fastball or quite the sink that he's had the last couple outings."
Starlin Castro finished 1-for-4 and scored a run for the Cubs, who have lost four of five overall.
The Astros got things started in the first inning with a pair of doubles leading to an early edge. Altuve crushed a two-bagger to right and scored on Moore's double that split the alley in left-center field.
Houston added to its lead in the third with back-to-back singles from Tyler Greene and Altuve in front of Wallace's towering three-run home run deep over the ivy in dead center field.
The Cubs couldn't find any answers offensively and saw the game whittle away in the sixth. Houston put up another crooked number, triggered by Moore's leadoff double. He moved to third on Brian Bogusevic's single to right, and Castro's fielding error allowed Moore to score with the fifth run. Martinez hit his drive a little lower, but it followed Wallace's over the wall in center for a three-run home run and an 8-0 lead.
The inning didn't end there, as Harrell singled with one out and scored on Altuve's double.
Both teams scored a run in the seventh, the Astros on Moore's solo home run and the Cubs on a force out that allowed Castro to cross the plate.
Harrell has his first double-digit win season ... Wallace's home run was his fifth of the season, while Martinez hit his first and Moore his sixth of the campaign ... Volstad's earned run average sits at 6.96. He's lost his last 14 decisions going back to last year.