Hendry in Denial

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was dealt a blow when his $136 million left fielder, Alfonso Soriano, suffered a tear in his right quadriceps muscle Sunday.

Soriano, who led the club with 18 homers, will be out at least a month.

"There is no sense hanging your head," Hendry said. "We all had a rough night (Sunday) night. Nobody slept much. But you get up today and you gotta get after it. We're ready to grind it out. We've been grinding pretty good the last couple of months. We have some people who can handle themselves. We all agree that we held our own pretty well. But we're not even close to functioning on all cylinders offensively. I'm hoping when that gets going, it stays that way.

"What we're not going to do is hang our heads because we lost a real good player for three or four weeks. I know Lou (Piniella) will have the guys grinding it out, and (assistant GM Randy Bush) and I will keep grinding it out off the field."

Hendry denied he talked to White Sox general manager Ken Williams about left fielder Scott Podsednik.

ASTROS 5, CUBS 2: The Cubs scored their first run when Cliff Floyd walked with the bases loaded in the first inning. They had the bases loaded and no outs but failed to score the rest of the inning, and that set the tone in the loss Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. The Cubs have dropped five of their last six games to fell to 58-54. Matt Murton homered in the seventh for the team's only other run. The Cubs scored just three runs on 11 hits in two games since Alfonso Soriano went on the disabled list.


--LHP Sean Marshall cruised along for five innings, allowing just one run Tuesday night against Houston. But he gave up four runs in the sixth and suffered the loss to fall to 5-6. With RHP Sean Gallagher called up as a long relief man and spot starter, Cubs manager Lou Piniella could consider moving Marshall to the bullpen for a while.

--3B Aramis Ramirez picked up his weekly day off Tuesday night to rest a left knee that is not 100 percent. He should be back in the lineup Wednesday night.

--RHP Sean Gallagher is up for his third stint with the team as a long reliever, but there is a chance he will get a spot start in Colorado this weekend to give some starters and the bullpen a rest.

--LHP Will Ohman, who has been a mainstay in the bullpen since early 2005, was sent to Class AAA Iowa on Tuesday. But before he reports to Des Moines, he will go to Chicago to have his left shoulder examined. He said it's been "barking" lately. Ohman had a 9.00 ERA in his last 10 appearances (six runs in six innings).

--LF Eric Patterson made his first major league start Tuesday against Houston. He is the younger brother of Orioles OF Corey Patterson, a former Cub. Eric Patterson picked up his first major league hit in the second inning.

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