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W:W.Rodriguez(4-4) L:J.Samardzija(4-3)
HR: CHC- R.Johnson (2) HOU- None
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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, May 23rd (All times Eastern)

Chicago Cubs (15-28) at Houston Astros (20-23), 8:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (4-2, 3.00) Houston - Wandy Rodriguez (3-4, 2.24)

(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.

05/23 10:38:18 ET