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HOU@ATL: Norris punches out seven over six innings

The road hasn't been kind to the Astros, but they'll have a chance to pick up their second road series victory of the season in Wednesday's rubber game at Wrigley Field.

The Astros, 12-47 away from Minute Maid Park this season, scored 10 runs in Tuesday's victory, their most since they plated 11 against the White Sox in Chicago on June 10. Houston scored 16 total runs on its most recent road trip, a six-game stretch.

Right-hander Bud Norris will take the mound for the Astros on Wednesday searching for his first win since May 21. He is 0-8 with a 6.41 ERA in his last 12 starts, but he's pitched better recently, posting a 3.46 ERA over his last four outings.

"To see him come through and be able to do that after the Trade Deadline and have some starts like that is great," Astros manager Brad Mills said.

Norris' eight-game losing streak is the longest of his career.

The Cubs will send right-hander Justin Germano to the mound. Germano hasn't pitched beyond the sixth inning in three starts for Chicago. In his most recent outing, he gave up four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The Cubs committed three errors in the third inning behind Germano in that game.

"It was an ugly game, and you go out there and try to pitch around errors and try to minimize the damage," Germano said. "That's the next-best thing you can do, just go out there and shut the team down."

Astros: Wallace to continue to see time at hot corner
Mills plans to give Brett Wallace a healthy dose of playing time at third base over the rest of the season, trying to discover if Wallace is a viable option at the position going forward.

Wallace made his fourth start at third base in the past six games on Tuesday. Scott Moore, who saw some time at third earlier in the month, started at first.

Mills will also consider using Wallace at shortstop. The 25-year-old appeared in 10 games at shortstop for Triple-A Oklahoma City but has never appeared at the position in the Majors.

"We want to answer as many questions as we can, that being one of them," Mills said.

Cubs: Jackson adjusting to the Majors
Outfielder Brett Jackson, promoted from Triple-A Iowa on Aug. 5, spent some extra time in the batting cage with hitting coach James Rowson before Tuesday's game.

Jackson is 4-for-28 with 16 strikeouts to start his Major League career.

"We almost expect young guys to come up and struggle. It's part of the growth process," general manager Theo Epstein said. "It doesn't make it any easier for them to go through, but it's a natural step in a player's development. They come up and get humbled a little bit and make their adjustments, and maybe you have a chance to humble someone else down the line."

Manager Dale Sveum wants Jackson to focus on just hitting in the early going, not his mechanics.

"Sometimes to survive, you have to hit rock bottom and get back up," Sveum said. "This game is full of adversity. The guys who usually make it are able to handle the adversity and make adjustments. That's part of what we're doing this for in the evaluation process."

Worth noting
• With two more RBIs, Alfonso Soriano will become the sixth player in Major League history to total 1,000 RBIs, 400 doubles, 350 home runs and 250 stolen bases, joining Barry Bonds, Andre Dawson, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield. Comments