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Houston at Chicago

Scoreboard
Houston (51-100)100000000191
Chi. Cubs (67-85) «10010000x252

Cubs saddle Astros with 100th loss of season

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- For its first 49 seasons in the majors, Houston could claim it had never lost 100 games in a year.

No more.

In a microcosm of the Astros' season, they squandered a bases-loaded chance in the ninth inning and fell to Rodrigo Lopez and the Chicago Cubs 2-1 Saturday for their 100th loss.

"We were [0 for 14] with runners in scoring position, which turned out to be quite a number," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "At least we're putting ourselves in that position."

The Astros, who began play in 1962 as the Colt .45s, dropped to 51-100. Colorado and the Angels are the only remaining franchises that have never lost 100 games in a season.

"It's definitely a number that breaking camp with the talent we've had all year in this clubhouse, [I didn't think] anything like that would happen," shortstop Clint Barmes said.

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The Cubs, meanwhile, won for the 4,000th time since moving into Wrigley Field in 1915. Only the Yankees at the original Yankee Stadium and Red Sox at Fenway Park have won more games in one ballpark than the Cubs have taken at their ivy-covered home.

Lopez (6-6) didn't allow an earned run and held the Astros to four hits in six innings while striking out seven, a performance he's hoping will help translate to a big league spot next year.

"It's very important," Lopez said. "I'm trying to do a job this year and trying to find a spot somewhere. Free agency, they just look at your numbers. It's important for me to go home and make a case for getting a job next year."

Sean Marshall held on in the ninth for his fifth save.

Barmes' one-out double off the lefty put runners on second and third, then Marshall intentionally walked J.D. Martinez to load the bases. But Jose Altuve struck out and pinch-hitter Humberto Quintero grounded out to end the game.

Bryan LaHair hit a solo homer and reached base three times for the Cubs.

LaHair, who led the minor leagues with 38 homers, continued his eye-opening September audition with a drive to dead center field on the first pitch by Henry Sosa (2-5) in the fourth.

"When he squares it up it's pretty impressive," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Big, strong kid. We like what we've seen so far, that's for sure."

LaHair also walked twice and is hitting .433 in 30 at-bats since his promotion.

"I'm trying to get good pitches to hit and hit them hard like I've been doing all year," LaHair said. "That's my whole approach, just getting good pitches to hit and hitting them hard."

Sosa recovered from first-inning control problems to throw six innings, holding Chicago to four hits and two runs with five walks and five strikeouts.

Sosa hadn't walked more than three batters in any of his 36 appearances, including 17 starts, between the majors and minors this season. He walked four in the first inning, leading to the Cubs' first run.

"I don't really know what happened to me in the first inning," Sosa said. "Just kind of like all over the place."

The first free pass was issued to speedy Tony Campana, who moved to second on a groundout, stole third and scored when the throw by catcher Carlos Corporan sailed into left field.

Campana also reached on an infield single in the seventh. Despite playing on a part-time basis, Campana leads the Cubs with 22 steals and has been caught only once. His 95.7 percent success rate is the best in the majors.

Lopez matched his season high with five strikeouts in just three innings. He reached his season high in the fourth and finished his most whiffs since July 22, 2010.

The Astros threatened in the eighth, but Kerry Wood struck out J.B. Shuck looking with runners on the corners to end the inning. It was another frustrating moment in a long season with which the Astros say they've already come to grips.

"We can't focus on [100 losses] right now," Mills said. "It's not the right thing that we need to be looking at as we move forward."

Notes

  • The last six games played between the Cubs and Astros have been decided by one run.
  • Starlin Castro doubled to lead off the fifth. He's reached base in 30 straight games, the most by a Cubs shortstop since Ernie Banks in 1960.
  • Quade gave CF Marlon Byrd the day off. As he continues to mix and match between the veterans and young players on his expanded September roster, Quade said 3B Aramis Ramirez would likely get Sunday's game off.
  • Altuve did not start and later entered as a pinch-runner. Altuve was hitting .125 over his last 11 games and has drawn just four walks in 200 plate appearances since coming the big leagues.
  • Ryan Dempster will make his 32nd start of the season for the Cubs in Sunday's series finale and will attempt break a personal four-game losing streak. He'll face Houston's Brett Myers, who has a 1.19 ERA in 22 2/3 innings over his last three starts.
 
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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Jose Altuve and the Astros are 100-game losers for the first time in a franchise history that goes back to 1962.  (AP)
Jose Altuve and the Astros are 100-game losers for the first time in a franchise history that goes back to 1962. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

B. LaHair
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Chicago

R. Lopez
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 2
K 7
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF4110012 .243
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    Jason Bourgeois, CF1000001 .300
Clint Barmes, SS5020011 .248
J.D. Martinez, LF3000213 .263
Carlos Lee, 1B3000111 .277
    Jose Altuve, PR-2B1000013 .272
Brian Bogusevic, RF3010111 .281
   a- Humberto Quintero, PH1000003 .256
Matt Downs, 2B-1B4000025 .278
Jimmy Paredes, 3B4030002 .308
Carlos Corporan, C2000012 .192
   b- J.B. Shuck, PH-CF2000022 .254
    Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
Henry Sosa, P2000011 .000
   c- Brett Wallace, PH0000000 .261
   d- Chris Johnson, PH1010000 .245
    J.R. Towles, C0000000 .176
   e- Angel Sanchez, PH1010000 .244
Totals37190412  
a-grounded out for Bogusevic in the 9th
b-struck out for Corporan in the 7th
c-announced for Sosa in the 7th
d-singled for Wallace in the 7th
e-singled for Towles in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jordan Schafer (10, Lopez), Clint Barmes (26, Marshall)
SB - Jimmy Paredes (5, 2nd base off Lopez/Soto)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
E - Carlos Corporan (6, Throwing)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Henry Sosa (L,2-5) 6422551 4.74
Enerio Del Rosario 0.1100100 4.29
Wesley Wright 0.2000010 0.93
Mark Melancon 1000010 3.04
Pitches-Strikes - Henry Sosa 105-66, Enerio Del Rosario 15-9, Wesley Wright 10-6, Mark Melancon 8-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Henry Sosa 10-3, Wesley Wright 1-0, Mark Melancon 1-1
Batters Faced - Henry Sosa 27, Enerio Del Rosario 3, Wesley Wright 2, Mark Melancon 3
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starlin Castro, SS4010010 .306
Tony Campana, CF-LF3110111 .269
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3000101 .308
Carlos Pena, 1B3000123 .231
Bryan LaHair, RF2111202 .433
    Lou Montanez, RF0000000 .240
Alfonso Soriano, LF3000101 .243
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
Darwin Barney, 2B4020003 .276
Geovany Soto, C4000023 .218
Rodrigo Lopez, P2000001 .071
   a- Blake DeWitt, PH1000012 .258
    Ramon Ortiz, P0000000 .000
    James Russell, P0000000 .125
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .000
    Marlon Byrd, CF0000000 .284
Totals2925167  
a-struck out for Lopez in the 6th
Batting
2B - Starlin Castro (33, Sosa)
HR - Bryan LaHair (2, Sosa)
RBI - Bryan LaHair (5)
SB - Tony Campana (22, off Sosa/Corporan)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Bryan LaHair (1, Misplayed grounder), Aramis Ramirez (14, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Rodrigo Lopez (W,6-6) 6410270 4.71
Ramon Ortiz (H,1) 0.1000010 5.46
James Russell (H,6) 0.1100010 4.23
Kerry Wood (H,21) 1.1200120 3.35
Sean Marshall (S,5) 1200110 2.38
IBB - Martinez by Sean Marshall
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 94-62, Ramon Ortiz 6-3, James Russell 6-6, Kerry Wood 29-19, Sean Marshall 27-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 2-10, Kerry Wood 1-1, Sean Marshall 1-1
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 25, Ramon Ortiz 1, James Russell 2, Kerry Wood 7, Sean Marshall 6
Game Information
Attendance - 39377
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - David Rackley, Third Base - Jeff Nelson