Chicago at Houston

Final 11th
Chi. Cubs
W: B. Lidge (4-2) L: R. Dempster (2-6)
HR: CHC - M. DeRosa (9)   HOU - None

Cubs fall out of first-place tie with extra-inning loss to Astros wire reports

HOUSTON -- The Chicago Cubs know they can't waste too many more chances like this.

Luke Scott tripled home the winning run in the 11th inning and the Houston Astros dropped the Cubs out of a tie for the NL Central lead, beating Chicago 5-4 Tuesday night.

Chicago blew a 4-1 lead, stranded 15 runners and squandered a bases-loaded threat in the 11th. The Cubs have lost four of six and fell one game behind Milwaukee, which beat Pittsburgh 6-1.

"We had some opportunities and didn't get it done," Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee said. "That's a tough one to swallow."

The Astros ended a five-game losing streak and won for the fifth time in 13 games since Cecil Cooper replaced Phil Garner as manager on Aug. 27.

"We continue to play hard, that's all you can ask," Cooper said.

Ryan Dempster (2-6) walked Mark Loretta with one out in the 11th and Eric Bruntlett pinch-ran. Scott followed with his game-winner.

"I made a stupid pitch," Dempster said, without waiting for reporters to ask him a question. "I walked a guy, made a stupid pitch and lost the game."

With that, Dempster finished buttoning his shirt and left the clubhouse.

Brad Lidge (4-2) escaped a jam of his own in the 11th by getting Jacque Jones to fly out.

Unless they win the rest of their games, the Astros will finish with a losing record for just the second time since 1991.

"Any time you can win a game in extra innings, it's good, no matter where you are," Scott said. "We want to finish strong. We haven't lived up to expectations and we know it."

Mark DeRosa hit a three-run homer for the Cubs, who dropped to 2-8 in extra-inning games this season. Chicago has lost seven of 13 meetings with Houston.

"We're still in it," Lee said. "You've got to turn the page, come back and try to get them tomorrow."

The Cubs put two runners on with one out in both the eighth and ninth innings. Carlos Lee made a diving catch in left-center on Ryan Theriot's liner to end the first threat and DeRosa grounded into a double play to stall the second.

"We had some chances, we left some runners out there," Derrek Lee said. "They made some great defensive plays. We just didn't get it done."

Chicago reliever Bob Howry retired the six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth -- striking out four -- to force extra innings. Chicago's bullpen retired 13 straight Astros before Loretta walked in the 11th.

"These are big games for us," Howry said. "You'd love to be out and have a five- or seven-game lead and have a little leeway. We don't, but we've got guys who know what it takes to win. Now, we've just got to come out and do it."

The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the second when Jones singled and scored on Jason Kendall's double.

Scott singled in the second and moved up on a grounder and Jason Marquis' wild pitch. When another pitch skipped past Kendall - this one was ruled a passed ball - Scott scored to tie the game.

Houston starter Brandon Backe walked Cliff Floyd leading off the third, Aramis Ramirez singled and DeRosa hit his ninth homer of the season.

Backe, making his second start since a yearlong recovery from Tommy John surgery, retired the Cubs in order for the first time in the fifth inning. Humberto Quintero doubled in the Houston fifth, Jason Lane pinch-hit for Backe and singled, then lined a two-run triple to cut Chicago's lead to 4-3.

Carlos Lee led off the sixth with a single and Loretta hit a tying double.


  • Craig Biggio hit his 666th double in the first inning, passing George Brett and moving into fifth place all-time. Biggio has more doubles than any right-handed hitter in history.
  • Alfonso Soriano, the Cubs left fielder, dropped Biggio's routine fly with one out in the third inning. He recovered in time to throw to second and force out Pence.
  • Pence set a Houston rookie record with his 51st extra-base hit of the season.
  • The Cubs have lost four in a row at Minute Maid Park for the first time since the ballpark opened in 2000.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Luke Scott's triple wins it for the Astros in the 11th inning and hands the Cubs a painful loss.  (AP)
Luke Scott's triple wins it for the Astros in the 11th inning and hands the Cubs a painful loss. (AP)

Players of the Game

L. Scott
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0

M. DeRosa
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5010024 .293
Ryan Theriot, SS4000214 .273
Derrek Lee, 1B4010214 .314
Cliff Floyd, RF3120101 .286
    Felix Pie, PR-CF0000000 .212
   a- Matt Murton, PH-RF0000100 .270
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5110114 .319
Mark DeRosa, 2B5113102 .287
Jacque Jones, CF-RF^CF6130013 .275
Jason Kendall, C2011100 .247
Jason Marquis, P3000012 .138
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   b- Daryle Ward, PH0000100 .337
    Sam Fuld, PR0000000 .000
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
   c- Mike Fontenot, PH1000011 .288
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Pie in the 11th
b-was walked intentionally for Marmol in the 8th
c-struck out for Howry in the 10th
2B - Jason Kendall (20, Backe)
HR - Mark DeRosa (9, Backe)
SH - Felix Pie (2), Jason Kendall 2 (5)
RBI - Mark DeRosa 3 (68), Jason Kendall (41)
Team LOB - 15
Outfield Assists - Alfonso Soriano 1
PB - Jason Kendall (11)
Chicago Cubs
Jason Marquis 5843010 4.17
Carlos Marmol 2100040 1.36
Bob Howry 2000040 3.47
Ryan Dempster (L,2-6) 1.1111100 3.88
WP - Jason Marquis (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 61-42, Carlos Marmol 34-25, Bob Howry 23-16, Ryan Dempster 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 10-4, Carlos Marmol 1-1, Bob Howry 2-0, Ryan Dempster 1-3
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 23, Carlos Marmol 7, Bob Howry 6, Ryan Dempster 6
Houston Astros
Hunter Pence, CF5022010 .324
Craig Biggio, 2B5010012 .252
Lance Berkman, 1B5000003 .276
Carlos Lee, LF5110011 .297
Mark Loretta, SS4011100 .275
    Eric Bruntlett, PR0100000 .240
Luke Scott, RF5121021 .260
Ty Wigginton, 3B4010020 .279
Humberto Quintero, C4110022 .217
Brandon Backe, P1000000 .000
   a- Jason Lane, PH1110000 .180
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .154
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000002 .240
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   c- Mike Lamb, PH1000000 .289
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Backe in the 5th
b-grounded out for Sampson in the 6th
c-grounded out for Qualls in the 9th
2B - Craig Biggio (29, Marquis), Mark Loretta (23, Marquis), Humberto Quintero (2, Marquis)
3B - Hunter Pence (9, Marquis), Luke Scott (4, Dempster)
RBI - Hunter Pence 2 (58), Mark Loretta (35), Luke Scott (64)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Loretta-Berkman, Loretta-Biggio-Berkman
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe 5644431 5.91
Chris Sampson 1000120 4.59
Dave Borkowski 1100010 5.77
Chad Qualls 2200200 2.99
Brad Lidge (W,4-2) 2100320 2.82
IBB - Ward by Chad Qualls
HBP - Soriano (by Brandon Backe)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 97-53, Chris Sampson 26-16, Dave Borkowski 16-10, Chad Qualls 19-10, Brad Lidge 45-26
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 4-7, Dave Borkowski 1-1, Chad Qualls 3-2, Brad Lidge 3-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 25, Chris Sampson 4, Dave Borkowski 4, Chad Qualls 9, Brad Lidge 10
Game Information
Attendance - 33493
Game Time - 3:36
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper