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Houston at Chicago

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Houston (39-56) «0000000100034111
Chi. Cubs (43-53)0000100000023120

Pinch hitter delivers as Astros top Cubs in 12 to take series

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Both bullpens were spent, runs were scarce and the Houston Astros had trouble making a quick getaway Wednesday. That's OK. They'll take it. Their 12-inning victory over the Chicago Cubs made it all worth it.

"It did take a while," manager Brad Mills said after the 4-3 victory. "We kept battling. In a game like this our bullpen was on fumes."

Pinch-hitter Jason Michaels delivered a two-out, two-run double in the 12th and scored on Angel Sanchez's single, giving the Astros a 4-1 lead. They needed all of it after Geovany Soto hit a two-run homer off Gustavo Chacin in the bottom half.

Ryan Theriot followed Soto's 13th homer with a base hit and pinch-hitter Jeff Baker walked before Tyler Colvin lined out to right, giving Chacin his first career save.

The Astros took two of three in the series at Wrigley Field, bouncing back after Tuesday's difficult 14-7 loss that featured 13 unanswered runs by the Cubs and a three-homer night by Chicago slugger Aramis Ramirez.

"To get that series win feels great," Michaels said. "Two outs, second and third, I was just trying to have a good at-bat and get myself in position. ... I got lucky and found the gap."

Jeff Keppinger and Chris Johnson started the 12th with consecutive singles. After Jason Castro forced Keppinger at third with a bunt back to Bob Howry (1-3), James Russell relieved and Michael Bourn's grounder moved the runners to second and third.

Michaels greeted Jeff Stevens, the seventh Chicago reliever, with a drive into the alley in left-center.

Chicago threatened in the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th but couldn't get the big hit, leaving 16 runners on base for the game.

"We scored 14 last night," manager Lou Piniella said the day after he announced his retirement at the end of the season. "If we would have got all the guys we left on [base] today, we would have scored 14 today. We just didn't get them in."

The Cubs had second and third in the 11th before Brandon Lyon (6-4) got Derrek Lee to fly out. Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the 10th on a double by Starlin Castro and two walks before Lyon struck out Kosuke Fukudome and retired pinch-hitter Soto on a fly to left.

Houston tied it at 1 in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Pedro Feliz started the inning with a drive into the left-field bleachers off Chicago starter Ted Lilly.

"I made a bad pitch to Pedro Feliz. I feel it cost us the game," Lilly said.

After the teams combined for 37 runs in the first two games of the series, the finale was a contrast for most of the day with a light wind blowing in at Wrigley Field as Lilly and Brett Myers locked up in a pitchers' duel.

Myers allowed five hits in seven innings, including Lilly's single in the fifth that snapped the pitcher's skid at 0 for 33 dating to last season. Lilly then motored all the way from first to score on Starlin Castro's two-out double to left.

Lilly, the subject of trade speculation, yielded seven hits in 7 1/3 innings, including two singles by Myers.

"I don't know," Lilly said when asked if expected to be around for the rest of the season. "There is a lot of speculation and rumors that are thrown out there. From my experience, they don't necessarily mean something is going to happen."

Notes

  • Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell said he appreciates having his name mentioned as a possible successor for Piniella, adding it's too early to talk about that with more than two months left in the season. Trammell managed Detroit from 2003-05 and compiled a 186-300 record, including a 119-loss season in his first year. "Losing 119 games and you're almost part of baseball history in a negative way that certainly tests you in a lot of ways," Trammell said. Trammell, a star shortstop for the Tigers who also works with Cubs infielders, said he does want to continue to be involved in the game, whether it be coaching or managing.
  • Astros ace Roy Oswalt, also rumored to be moving at or before the trade deadline, said after the game his preference would be to join a team that has a chance to be in the playoffs. "I'm just going to wait until they come to me and ask me what they have for a deal and what they are thinking about," he said. "Wait for my options and go from there."
 
Copyright 2014 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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Pinch-hitter Jason Michaels hits a two-out, two-run double in the 12th to win it for Houston. (AP)
Pinch-hitter Jason Michaels hits a two-out, two-run double in the 12th to win it for Houston. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

J. Michaels
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Chicago

G. Soto
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Bourgeois, CF5010003 .250
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Michaels, PH1112000 .242
    Gustavo Chacin, P00000001.000
Angel Sanchez, SS6031012 .294
Lance Berkman, 1B6000034 .242
Hunter Pence, RF5000022 .261
Carlos Lee, LF5000000 .236
Jeff Keppinger, 2B5020010 .283
Chris Johnson, 3B4110111 .307
Humberto Quintero, C3000022 .234
   b- Jason Castro, PH-C1100102 .175
Brett Myers, P2020000 .158
   c- Pedro Feliz, PH1111000 .217
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
   d- Michael Bourn, PH-CF2000001 .252
Totals464114210  
a-doubled for Lyon in the 12th
b-walked for Quintero in the 10th
c-homered for Myers in the 8th
d-hit into fielder's choice-bunting for Byrdak in the 10th
Batting
2B - Jason Michaels (5, Stevens)
HR - Pedro Feliz (4, Lilly)
RBI - Jason Michaels 2 (16), Angel Sanchez (4), Pedro Feliz (27)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Michaels 2 (9), Angel Sanchez (2)
SB - Jason Bourgeois (6, 2nd base off Lilly/Hill)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
PB - Humberto Quintero (3)
E - Carlos Lee (4, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brett Myers 7511280 3.24
Matt Lindstrom 1.2300010 2.61
Tim Byrdak 0.1000010 4.01
Brandon Lyon (W,6-4) 2200310 3.80
Gustavo Chacin (S,1) 1222201 5.18
IBB - Ramirez by Brandon Lyon, by Colvin
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Myers 89-62, Matt Lindstrom 32-21, Tim Byrdak 4-3, Brandon Lyon 42-20, Gustavo Chacin 34-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Myers 8-5, Matt Lindstrom 1-3, Brandon Lyon 1-4, Gustavo Chacin 1-2
Batters Faced - Brett Myers 28, Matt Lindstrom 8, Tim Byrdak 1, Brandon Lyon 11, Gustavo Chacin 7
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Tyler Colvin, LF6000135 .262
Starlin Castro, SS6021011 .296
Derrek Lee, 1B5020103 .249
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5010104 .226
Marlon Byrd, CF5010112 .314
Kosuke Fukudome, RF4110214 .251
Koyie Hill, C4000044 .204
   a- Geovany Soto, PH-C2112003 .295
Ryan Theriot, 2B6030011 .276
Ted Lilly, P3110000 .034
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   b- Alfonso Soriano, PH1000002 .270
    Andrew Cashner, P0000000 .000
    Justin Berg, P0000000 .000
   c- Mike Fontenot, PH0000000 .288
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
    Jeff Stevens, P0000000 .000
   d- Jeff Baker, PH0000100 .246
Totals473123711  
a-flied out for Hill in the 10th
b-flied out for Marmol in the 9th
c-hit a sacrifice bunt for Berg in the 11th
d-walked for Stevens in the 12th
Batting
2B - Starlin Castro 2 (15, Myers, Lyon)
HR - Geovany Soto (13, Chacin)
SH - Mike Fontenot (1)
RBI - Starlin Castro (27), Geovany Soto 2 (35)
2-OUT RBI - Starlin Castro (8), Geovany Soto 2 (13)
Team LOB - 16
Fielding
DP - Castro-Theriot-Lee
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ted Lilly 7.1711161 3.88
Sean Marshall 0.2000010 1.85
Carlos Marmol 1000020 2.78
Andrew Cashner 1000100 2.28
Justin Berg 1000010 5.31
Bob Howry (L,1-3) 0.1222000 7.29
James Russell 0.1000000 4.08
Jeff Stevens 0.1211000 6.11
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 109-76, Sean Marshall 9-6, Carlos Marmol 12-9, Andrew Cashner 9-4, Justin Berg 6-5, Bob Howry 11-10, James Russell 3-2, Jeff Stevens 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 4-11, Andrew Cashner 3-0, Justin Berg 1-1, Bob Howry 1-0, James Russell 1-0, Jeff Stevens 1-0
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 29, Sean Marshall 2, Carlos Marmol 3, Andrew Cashner 4, Justin Berg 3, Bob Howry 3, James Russell 1, Jeff Stevens 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38533
Game Time - 3:56
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Brian Gorman