hasn't had much luck at the plate lately. So when he saw speedy center fielder
chasing his fly ball in the first inning, he figured he'd catch it.
Instead Bourn's diving attempt came up just short and Johnson ended up with a bases-loaded triple to help the
6-3 on Wednesday night.
pitched into the eighth inning and
added a solo home run for the Cubs, who have won five of six.
''I really actually thought he would (catch it), especially the way things have been going for me lately with runners in scoring
position,'' said Johnson, who was 0-for-4 in the last two games and had one RBI before Wednesday. ''I haven't been taking
good at bats and when I do, I would hit them right at somebody. I was thinking when I hit it, if anyone can run it down, he
Harden (3-1) allowed his first run with two outs in the fourth before retiring the next 10 batters.
''He did a heck of a job,'' manager
said. ''He maintained his velocity. We thought if we get seven we were going to be pleased.''
Harden didn't give up another hit until Bourn singled in the eighth, and
followed with a home run.
Johnson put the Cubs ahead in the first against
(1-3). Johnson scored on a passed ball by
to make it 4-0.
The Astros had an emotional day in their return from a rain-soaked road trip filled with delays. Third baseman
visited the team for the first time since open heart surgery before the team learned that hitting coach
has what is likely a cancerous tumor on his kidney.
''Definitely a difficult day,'' manager
said. ''That's pretty tough news today. Kind of a roller coaster day because we get the news on Sean and we see Aaron today.
We've gone through four or five days that have been really tough for us, travel days and long days at the ballpark. (But we)
cannot make excuses. We still got to go out and play.''
Harden made his longest start of the season, surpassing his previous high of six innings.
relieved Harden in the eighth after a single by
and retired three batters.
pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
Hampton hit an RBI single in the fourth that made it 4-1.
Johnson walked to start the sixth,
walked to load the bases. Johnson scored on a passed ball by Rodriguez - his second of the night - to push Chicago's lead
It was the first time since 2003 that Rodriguez had two passed balls in a game.
''Things happen,'' Rodriguez said. ''It was a bad day for me behind the plate. I feel like I was jumping a little bit behind
the plate, trying to reach for the pitch instead of waiting for the pitch and (receiving) it.''
Hampton struck out Harden in the sixth before he was replaced by
, who was called up from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day. Arias struck out
to end the inning.
Hampton allowed seven hits and five runs with four walks in 5 1-3 innings.
Ramirez homered in the seventh inning off Arias.
Notes: Houston RHP
is scheduled to make his third rehab outing on Friday at Double-A Corpus Christi. Backe has been on a the disabled list all
season with a strained muscle in his left side. ... Astros closer
, who had fluid drained from his right calf on Friday, began therapy for the injury on Tuesday. He is expected to be out three
to five weeks. ... The Cubs selected the contract of right-handed pitcher
from Triple-A Iowa and optioned fellow right-hander
to Iowa. The 38-year-old Fox had a 1.59 ERA and two saves in 11 appearances for Iowa this season. The nine-year veteran was
0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three appearances for Chicago last season before a right elbow injury ended his season. He missed all
of 2006 and 2007 after elbow surgery in 2005. Samardzija had an 8.10 ERA in five appearances for the Cubs since being recalled