|Houston (39-56) «||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||3||4||11||1|
|Chi. Cubs (43-53)||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||3||12||0|
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.
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.
"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."
|Pinch-hitter Jason Michaels hits a two-out, two-run double in the 12th to win it for Houston. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jason Bourgeois, CF||5||0||1||0||0||0||3||.250|
|Brandon Lyon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Jason Michaels, PH||1||1||1||2||0||0||0||.242|
|Gustavo Chacin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|Angel Sanchez, SS||6||0||3||1||0||1||2||.294|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||6||0||0||0||0||3||4||.242|
|Hunter Pence, RF||5||0||0||0||0||2||2||.261|
|Carlos Lee, LF||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||.236|
|Jeff Keppinger, 2B||5||0||2||0||0||1||0||.283|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||4||1||1||0||1||1||1||.307|
|Humberto Quintero, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.234|
|b- Jason Castro, PH-C||1||1||0||0||1||0||2||.175|
|Brett Myers, P||2||0||2||0||0||0||0||.158|
|c- Pedro Feliz, PH||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.217|
|Matt Lindstrom, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tim Byrdak, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Michael Bourn, PH-CF||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.252|
|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|
|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|
|PB - Humberto Quintero (3)|
|E - Carlos Lee (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|Brandon Lyon (W,6-4)||2||2||0||0||3||1||0||3.80|
|Gustavo Chacin (S,1)||1||2||2||2||2||0||1||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|
|Tyler Colvin, LF||6||0||0||0||1||3||5||.262|
|Starlin Castro, SS||6||0||2||1||0||1||1||.296|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||5||0||2||0||1||0||3||.249|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||5||0||1||0||1||0||4||.226|
|Marlon Byrd, CF||5||0||1||0||1||1||2||.314|
|Kosuke Fukudome, RF||4||1||1||0||2||1||4||.251|
|Koyie Hill, C||4||0||0||0||0||4||4||.204|
|a- Geovany Soto, PH-C||2||1||1||2||0||0||3||.295|
|Ryan Theriot, 2B||6||0||3||0||0||1||1||.276|
|Ted Lilly, P||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||.034|
|Sean Marshall, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Carlos Marmol, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Alfonso Soriano, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.270|
|Andrew Cashner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Justin Berg, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Mike Fontenot, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.288|
|Bob Howry, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|James Russell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Stevens, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Jeff Baker, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.246|
|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|
|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|
|DP - Castro-Theriot-Lee|
|Bob Howry (L,1-3)||0.1||2||2||2||0||0||0||7.29|
|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|
|Attendance - 38533|
|Game Time - 3:56|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Brian Gorman|