(Sports Network) - Dominican lefty Wandy Rodriguez makes his 20th career start
against Chicago tonight when the Houston Astros host the skidding Cubs to wrap
up a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.
Rodriguez is 5-6 in his initial 19 meetings with the Cubs, working a total of
117 1/3 innings while allowing 120 hits and 55 runs and striking out 84
batters - and permitting a .268 opposition batting average.
The 33-year-old's season has gone in three stages in his first nine starts,
yielding an 0-2 record with a no-decision in stages one and three, while the
middle three starts ended in wins with a 1.35 earned run average.
Overall, he's given up 51 hits and 15 earned runs in 60 1/3 innings.
He was a 4-1 loser to Texas in his last start on May 18 after allowing 10 hits
and three runs in six innings.
The Cubs go with reliever-turned-starter Jeff Samardzija, who was a fifth-
round selection of the team in 2006.
The former Notre Dame football player was 8-4 with 13 holds in 75 relief
appearances last season, then began the 2012 season in the rotation with a
pair of wins in his first two starts.
He's 2-2 across six starts since, including a 3-2 interleague loss to the
Chicago White Sox on May 18 in which he gave up three runs on six hits across
7 1/3 innings of work.
His last win came May 7 against Atlanta.
Lifetime against the Astros, Samardzija is 2-1 with three holds and a 4.76 ERA
in 17 innings.
On Tuesday, J.D. Martinez hit a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning, Jose
Altuve had a pair of hits and J.A. Happ tossed six solid frames as the Astros
handed the Cubs their eighth straight loss, 2-1.
Happ (4-3) fanned six and surrendered a run on five hits and two walks for the
Astros, who have won five of seven.
"I feel a little bit more relaxed out there and a little more in tuned with
myself," Happ said. "I'm just trying keep building off that."
Travis Wood (0-1) made his second start in a Cubs uniform and allowed a pair
of runs on two hits and two walks over 5 2/3 frames, while Alfonso Soriano had
a solo homer.
The Cubs won eight of 15 meetings with the Astros in 2011 and split six
meetings in Houston.
The Sports Network