HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Astros had a scary moment in an otherwise ordinary loss.
Reliever Mickey Storey was hit on the side of the face by Dave Sappelt's line drive in the top of the eighth inning. The liner appeared to have glanced off Storey's hand, shoulder and head.
Storey fell to a knee and grabbed his jaw as Astros personnel rushed to check on him. He was down for several minutes before walking into the Astros dugout. Houston manager Tony DeFrancesco said Storey had bruises on his hand and jaw.
``The best thing I can take from this is that it didn't hit somewhere worse,' Storey said. ``Initially, it was shock and hurt, but I think I'll be all right. Hopefully, I'll be back out there soon.'
DeFrancesco said Storey's status is day-to-day.
``We were very lucky,' DeFrancesco said. ``After what happened with (A's pitcher Brandon) McCarthy in Oakland, it's very sensitive right now and it's a scary thing. I know it's part of the game, but you don't want to see anybody get hurt, and you feel bad for the kid.'
McCarthy was hit in the head and needed surgery to fix and epidural hemorrhage, brain bruise and skull fracture after being hit by a line drive Sept. 5. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday.
Storey said he was fortunate that the liner didn't directly strike him in the head.
``I saw it coming, and I don't know if I was trying to catch it or defend my face, but I felt it hit,' Storey said. ``I went to get the ball then kind of blacked out and felt a lot of ringing.'
Sappelt later offered his sympathy.
``I was in one of those, `I don't know what to do,' moments,' said Sappelt, who played against Storey in Triple-A. ``I felt bad. I hope he's all right.'
It was a scary moment in a game that the Cubs controlled from start to finish.
Alfonso Soriano finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in two runs and Travis Wood allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings.
Wood (6-11) gave up four hits and struck out six for his second straight win. Wood has allowed only one run in his last two starts, spanning 13 2-3 innings.
Wood walked one and did not allow a hit through the first four innings.
``He kind of dominated for a while and threw a lot of off-speed that was cutting in on our hitters, and we couldn't do anything,' DeFrancesco said.
Fernando Abad (0-4) gave up a run on four hits in 3 1-3 innings with two strikeouts and three walks. In his four starts this season, Abad has not lasted longer than 4 1-3 innings.
``That was enough,' DeFrancesco said. ``If Abad was throwing strikes early, he might have had a chance of getting out of it, but at that point, I felt it was time to move on.'
Welington Castro gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the first with a two-out single.
Soriano hit his 29th home run of the year off Chuckie Fick in the fifth and extended the lead to 3-0 in the seventh with an RBI single off Fernando Rodriguez down the left field line.
Anthony Recker upped Chicago's lead to 4-0 in the eighth with a double to the right field gap off Jose Valdez.
Houston cut the lead to 4-1 in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Fernando Martinez off Shawn Camp, scoring Brandon Barnes, who had chased Wood with a two-out double. Jose Altuve then reached on a single and Jed Lowrie walked to load the bases, but Camp struck out J.D. Martinez to end the threat.
Chicago made it 5-1 in the ninth as pinch runner Tony Campana stole third and scored on Chris Snyder's high throw.
Justin Maxwell singled to lead off the fifth for Houston's first hit, but he was doubled off first after Soriano made a leaping grab on Matt Dominguez's shot at the wall and fired it in to get Maxwell at first.
NOTES: Actor/comedian Cheech Marin threw out the first pitch before Wednesday's game. Houston starts a four-game series against Philadelphia Thursday with Lucas Harrell taking the mound against Tyler Cloyd for the Phillies. Chicago is off Thursday before opening a four-game series against Pittsburgh at home with Chris Rusin starting against the Pirates' James McDonald.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved