Cubs improve to 10-3 since break

Associated Press

Randy Wells pitched eight shutout innings and Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run home run during a six-run first inning Wednesday, leading the Chicago Cubs to an 12-0 victory over the Houston Astros.

Aramis Ramirez homered and drove in two runs for the Cubs, who battered Mike Hampton and improved to 10-3 since the All-Star break.

Wells (7-4) is the first Cubs rookie with seven victories since Kerry Wood won 13 in 1998. The 26-year-old right-hander gave up six singles, walked two, struck out one and let only one runner get as far as second base.

Using his sinker, Wells got Houston to ground into three double plays. His 2.84 earned-run average leads all rookies.