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Notes: Cubs manager Lou Piniella said C Geovany Soto was going to Chicago on Thursday for what Piniella termed a "precautionary" evaluation of his sore right shoulder. Soto left Tuesday's game early and didn't play Wednesday. Piniella said Soto could be ready for Friday's game in Milwaukee. "He should be OK in a few days," Piniella said. "We'll see how he is on Friday." ... Astros RHP Brandon Backe threw 40 pitches off the mound in his first bullpen session since straining a muscle in his left side at spring training. "No tweaks, no pulls, no strains," Backe said. "But I didn't do too much out there." Manager Cecil Cooper said Backe would throw another bullpen on Friday. "He threw well, nice and easy and free," Cooper said. "He really didn't cut it loose. This was more just for him to just get on the mound and make sure I saw it." ... Astros radio broadcaster Milo Hamilton was honored before Wednesday's game when Hamilton Street was renamed Milo Hamilton Way. The 2009 season is his 25th with the team.
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