CHICAGO -- In spring training, Randy Wells never imagined being the Cubs' first 10-game winner this season.
Well, he is.Wells became the first rookie in 11 years to reach 10 wins with another strong outing against the Houston Astros, and Milton Bradley homered in Chicago's 4-1 victory Tuesday night.Wells, who has more win than Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly and Rich Harden, didn't even start pitching for the Cubs until May 8 when he was recalled from Triple-A Iowa."I would've said that would be great, realistically I probably would've laughed at you. It's nice and rewarding, I can't lie," Wells said. "Just thinking at my career, my past and the road I took to get here it's nice to be recognized."In his previous two starts against Houston, Wells (10-7) pitched 14 scoreless innings. On Tuesday, the 26-year old right-hander allowed just one unearned run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.Kerry Wood was the last Cubs rookie to win 10 games, in 1998. Wells is Chicago's first 10-game winner this season."I don't where we would be without [Wells]," Bradley said.Cubs reliever John Grabow and Kevin Gregg each got two outs and closer Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save in 11 chances.Tom Ricketts, who led the $845 million purchase bid for the Cubs and is expected to assume the most active ownership role in the family, watched the game from front row seats near the Chicago dugout. Ricketts stood up and clapped after Bradley's home run."I saw him down there," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who met him for the first time. "I shook his hand after the ballgame and I said, 'Hopefully that's the first of many, many more for you.' That was it."Michael Bourn had three hits for the Astros, who have lost seven of their last nine games.Aaron Boone was activated off the disabled list Tuesday, five month after the 36-year-old third baseman had open-heart surgery"It's good to be in this position and back here after all that has gone through in my life this year. I'm excited about it," he said.Astros manager Cecil Cooper said he will try to play Boone as soon as possible.Bradley put the Cubs ahead with a solo shot off Astros starter Brian Moehler in the fourth inning. It was his 12th of the season.Alfonso Soriano, back after missing three games with a sore knee, singled with one out in the fifth then Jeff Baker hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play, but shortstop Miguel Tejada made an errant throw to second, allowing Soriano to advance to third. Koyie Hill followed with an RBI single."We didn't play particularly well on the defensive side. That's basically it. I thought Moehler threw the ball fine except for the home run ball," Cooper said. "Other than that, he'd probably still be pitching in the game 1-0. That's what I told him. I thought he deserved a better fate."Moehler didn't get much help from his defense in the sixth inning either. After a leadoff single by Bradley, right fielder Hunter Pence dropped Derrek Lee's flyball on the warning track. Bradley went into third and Lee ended up at second on the error. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single to score Bradley and put the Cubs up 3-0."Moehler pitched unbelievable. He pitched great. That's a good lineup. He battled for us," Pence said. "I got to get better. I got to make that play for him and it hurts to do that to him when he does that for you. And what can you do? It feels bad to let him down."Moehler (8-10) allowed three runs, two earned on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.Kaz Matsui singled in the seventh inning, then stole second and was able to advance to third when Baker dropped the ball while covering second base. Matsui scored on Chris Coste's groundout.With runners on first and third with one out in the eighth, Kosuke Fukudome lined an RBI double down the right-field line. Ramirez attempted to score from first but was easily thrown out at the plate.
The Cubs recalled utility man Micah Hoffpauir and right-handed reliever Justin Berg from Triple-A Iowa. The club also activated INF Andres Blanco from the 15-day disabled list. ... The Astros also activated right-hander reliever Doug Brocail (right strain shoulder) and left-hander reliever Wesley Wright (left shoulder strain) off the disabled list. ... Bourn has reached base in 25 consecutive games, the longest streak in the majors.