Chicago Cubs defeat Houston Astros, 7-2

One of the positives in spring training was the low number of walks issued by the Cubs.

''We talked all spring about not walking people, and I commended the staff about it,'' manager Lou Piniella said.

But the Cubs issued 34 walks in the first nine games. The 7-2 victory against the Astros on Friday was the first game in which the Cubs did not walk a batter.

Carlos Zambrano has given up seven walks in 13 1/3 innings and Ryan Dempster six in 12 1/3 innings. But Ran...

Already turning heads in two starts and posting a miniscule 0.69 ERA in the process, Carlos Silva may turn into the best surprise on the Cubs this season.

A surprise, that is, to those outside the organization. None of his teammates are batting an eye at his eye-popping performances.

''I don't think anyone here is surprised at how he's done,'' catcher Koyie Hill said after Silva's seven-inning job Friday in the Cubs' 7-2 victory over Houston. ''I don't think he'd tel...