Soto Nicked Up A Little

The Cubs didn't miss catcher Geovany Soto much in their 11-6 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.

That doesn't erase the concern. Soto, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, will have his right shoulder examined Thursday, an off day in the schedule.

Soto came out of Tuesday night's game because he felt soreness after throwing the ball to second base attempting to catch Kaz Matsui on a steal attempt.

The Cubs insist the ailment is nothing serious. Soto said he took treatments and did exercises Wednesday. He said the problem began sometime in spring training; Soto spent much of the spring with Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

Soto had a hand problem last September, and the Cubs were concerned about his physical fitness this spring after the WBC because he didn't catch much in the tournament. Veteran Koyie Hill is Chicago's backup catcher. If Soto's injury results in a disabled-list stint, the Cubs likely would bring up veteran Mark Johnson from Class AAA Iowa. However, they are only calling Soto day-to-day for the weekend series at Milwaukee.

CUBS 11, ASTROS 6: The Cubs batted around in each of the first two innings, staking LHP Ted Lilly to an 8-0 lead. 2B Mike Fontenot hit a three-run homer in the second to put the game seemingly out of reach. However, Lilly gave up four homers and lasted five innings, long enough to qualify for the victory.

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