Houston Astros' Carlos Lee hits a two-run home run during the seventh inning of an MLB baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Wednesday, July 28, 2010 in Houston. The home run was his second of the game. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel) By Dave Einsel
Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro hits a single during the fifth inning of an MLB baseball game against the Houston Astros, Wednesday, July 28, 2010, in Houston. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel) By Dave Einsel
Chicago Cubs' Randy Wells delivers a pitch during the first inning of an MLB baseball game against the Houston Astros, Wednesday, July 28, 2010, in Houston. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel) By Dave Einsel
HOUSTON (AP) -- Carlos Lee hit two home runs, including the go-ahead homer in the sixth inning, and the Houston Astros went on to an 8-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
The game was tied at 1 before Lee connected for his 13th homer of the year, a two-run shot to left field. His second one, also to left field, scored Lance Berkman and pushed the lead to 5-1 in the seventh inning.
Astros starter Bud Norris (3-7) allowed four hits, an unearned run and struck out seven in six innings for his first win since May 13.
Hunter Pence added three hits and drove in a pair of runs for Houston.
The Astros had managed just one hit before the sixth inning. Berkman walked before Pence hit a double that landed in the left field corner and scored Berkman to tie it 1-1.
Then came Lee's homer that scored Pence and gave Houston the lead.
Cubs starter Randy Wells (5-8) had pitched 19 consecutive scoreless innings before Pence's RBI. Wells allowed five hits and three runs in 5 2-3 innings. He was replaced by James Russell, who got one out.
Ryan Theriot singled to lead off the first inning before Starlin Castro reached on an error. Norris walked Tyler Colvin to load the bases before a sacrifice fly by Aramis Ramirez scored Theriot and made it 1-0.
Wells didn't allow a hit until a single by Pence with one out in the fourth inning. He got out of that inning unscathed by retiring Lee before Chris Johnson grounded into a force out and rookie Jason Castro struck out.
Jason Bourgeois hit his first career triple in the eighth inning and scored on a single by Angel Sanchez to make it 6-1. Pence stretched the lead to 7-1 with a run-scoring single later in that inning and Berkman also scored in the eighth on a wild pitch.
Norris was hobbled for a couple of minutes in the fifth inning when he jumped and landed on first base awkwardly while making a tag. His right foot seemed to be bothering him, but he remained in the game after talking to team trainers for a bit.
Johnson, a rookie, singled in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
Cubs manager Lou Piniella rested starters Derrek Lee, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano on Wednesday, but Soriano pinch hit in the ninth inning.
NOTES: Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano will travel to Denver on Thursday and join the team Friday before Chicago's series with the Rockies. Piniella said Zambrano will address the team in a meeting before Friday's game in his return after a dugout tirade more than a month ago. ... Chicago C Geovany Soto was out of the lineup for the second straight day after leaving Monday's game in the sixth inning after fouling a ball off his left foot. He has a bruised foot, but Piniella said he should be ready to play Friday. ... Houston RHP Jeff Fulchino, on the disabled list with right elbow tendinitis, gave up two hits in a scoreless inning in his second rehabilitation appearance for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday. ... Astros INF Geoff Blum, on the disabled list after arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow, could begin a rehabilitation assignment on Sunday.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)