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Houston at Chicago

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Houston (54-106) «010100010370
Chi. Cubs (60-100)000000000020

Astros deal Cubs 100th loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- For all the struggles the Cubs have had over the last five decades or so, they haven't reached this milestone for futility in a while. The Cubs got loss No. 100 on Monday night, the first time they've reached that number since 1966.

Lucas Harrell threw six shutout innings to lead the Houston Astros to a 3-0 victory Monday night.

Four Houston pitchers combined on a two-hitter and Fernando Martinez hit a home run for the third consecutive game.

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"It didn't quite seem like a playoff atmosphere," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "There was a little bit of sleepwalking at the plate. Are guys ready to get out of here? I don't know. I won't put words in anybody's mouth. We didn't take out at bats like we wanted to stick around."

The Astros avoided their franchise-record 107th loss in the opener of their final series in the National League before they move to the American League next season.

The Cubs lost 100 games in a season for the first time since 1966 and were shut out for the 14th time this season. Chicago has lost more than 99 games twice, setting the franchise record of 103 losses in 1962 and 1966. The Cubs have dropped 12 of their last 14.

"I hope (the young guys) learn it's not fun when we lose," Alfonso Soriano said in a very quiet Cubs clubhouse. "Baseball is fun when you win. It doesn't matter how much money you make, it's not fun when you lose."

Houston has matched its franchise record for losses with 106, but the Astros have won four of their last five and are 14-14 since Sept. 1.

Harrell (11-11) struck out seven in six scoreless innings for his first victory since Aug. 14, which was also against the Cubs. He walked one and allowed two hits, a single by David DeJesus and a double by Anthony Rizzo. Harrell retired the last nine batters he faced.

"Lucas, we were only going to go five innings with him. We weren't going to take him over 100 pitches," interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "He really pitched well with confidence, he fell behind early and all of a sudden he got locked in. A two-hit shutout here is a pretty special game."

Jose Valdez, Fernando Rodriguez and Wesley Wright did not allow a hit in the final three innings. Martinez's sixth home run was a leadoff shot off Jason Berken in the second inning for a 1-0 lead.

Matt Dominguez hit an RBI triple to left field in the fourth inning after Martinez singled. Left fielder Alfonso Soriano's throw home bounced past catcher Welington Castillo as Martinez scored for a 2-0 lead.

Scott Moore's RBI single in the eighth off Shawn Camp put the Astros ahead 3-0. Berken (0-3) allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings in his final start of the season.

According to STATS, LLC, the last time two teams with 100 losses or more played was Sept. 30, 1962. The Cubs were involved then, too -- they faced the New York Mets.

Houston and Chicago are set to play Tuesday night.

"It's a long season, but it's not over," Soriano said. "We still have two more games. Hopefully we win them."

Notes

  • The Astros are playing their final series in the NL against the same team they played in the first game in franchise history. The Houston Colt .45s beat the Cubs 11-2 on April 10, 1962. The Astros are 374-328 against the Cubs, their most victories against any opponent.
  • Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro played in his 160th game and could play in all 162, which would make him the first Cub to play in all 162 games at shortstop. His 159 starts at shortstop surpassed the single-season franchise mark of 158 starts at shortstop set by Ivan DeJesus (1978) and Don Kessinger (1968).
  • Astros bench coach Joe Pettini left the team for the final series due to a death in his family and will be replaced on the bench by catching instructor and advance scouting coordinator Matt Sinatro.
  • Cubs right-hander Chris Volstad (3-11, 6.64 ERA) will start Tuesday against Houston right-hander Bud Norris (6-13, 4.82).
 
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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Starlin Castro strikes out in the fourth inning of another futile night for the Cubs, who get two-hit and reach a dubious mark. (AP)
Starlin Castro strikes out in the fourth inning of another futile night for the Cubs, who get two-hit and reach a dubious mark. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

F. Martinez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Chicago

A. Rizzo
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Altuve, 2B3010100 .291
Scott Moore, RF4011001 .260
    Fernando Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
Jed Lowrie, SS4000011 .247
Fernando Martinez, LF3221000 .243
    Justin Maxwell, LF1010000 .227
Brett Wallace, 1B3000012 .253
Matt Dominguez, 3B4011012 .294
Jason Castro, C4000002 .257
Brandon Barnes, CF3110000 .217
Lucas Harrell, P2000010 .153
    Jose Valdez, P0000000 .000
   a- Brian Bogusevic, PH-RF1000011 .203
Totals3237315  
a-struck out for Valdez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Justin Maxwell (12, Marmol)
3B - Matt Dominguez (2, Berken)
HR - Fernando Martinez (6, Berken)
RBI - Scott Moore (26), Fernando Martinez (14), Matt Dominguez (16)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Moore (12), Matt Dominguez (5)
CS - Jose Altuve (11, 2nd base by Chapman/Castillo)
Team LOB - 4
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lucas Harrell (W,11-11) 6200170 3.76
Jose Valdez (H,4) 1000000 2.53
Fernando Rodriguez (H,13) 0.2000020 5.45
Wesley Wright (S,1) 1.1000020 3.31
WP - Lucas Harrell (10)
Pitches-Strikes - Lucas Harrell 98-60, Jose Valdez 12-7, Fernando Rodriguez 8-6, Wesley Wright 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lucas Harrell 9-2, Jose Valdez 1-2, Wesley Wright 2-0
Batters Faced - Lucas Harrell 21, Jose Valdez 3, Fernando Rodriguez 2, Wesley Wright 4
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
David DeJesus, CF4010010 .264
Dave Sappelt, RF4000010 .281
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4010021 .288
Alfonso Soriano, LF2000101 .262
Starlin Castro, SS3000013 .284
Luis Valbuena, 3B3000011 .221
Welington Castillo, C3000020 .271
Darwin Barney, 2B3000010 .256
Jason Berken, P1000000 .000
    Jaye Chapman, P0000000 .000
   a- Brett Jackson, PH1000010 .174
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
    Shawn Camp, P0000000 .000
   b- Bryan LaHair, PH0000000 .257
   c- Joe Mather, PH1000010 .209
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Totals29020111  
a-struck out for Chapman in the 5th
b-announced for Camp in the 8th
c-struck out for LaHair in the 8th
Batting
2B - Anthony Rizzo (15, Harrell)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Valbuena-Barney-Rizzo
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jason Berken (L,0-3) 4.2422121 5.49
Jaye Chapman 0.1000000 3.97
James Russell 2000000 3.25
Shawn Camp 1211010 3.40
Carlos Marmol 1100020 3.48
HBP - Wallace (by James Russell)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Berken 61-40, Jaye Chapman 4-1, James Russell 24-16, Shawn Camp 20-12, Carlos Marmol 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Berken 7-5, James Russell 4-1, Shawn Camp 2-0
Batters Faced - Jason Berken 19, James Russell 6, Shawn Camp 5, Carlos Marmol 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32167
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - John Tumpane, Third Base - Jim Wolf