|Houston (29-47) «||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||1||4||6||2|
|Chi. Cubs (30-43)||0||0||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||3||8||2|
CHICAGO -- The Houston Astros used power hitting and precision execution to turn an early deficit into an exciting victory.
Ronny Cedeno's squeeze bunt scored Justin Maxwell with the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning to lead Houston over the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Saturday after J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the sixth.
"In order to play these types of close games, you have to play good baseball," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "What I love about our ballclub is even though we make some mistakes, they don't hang their head. They keep battling, they keep fighting and we find a way to either get ourselves back into the game or make it a ballgame every night."
"Altuve and Carter were able to get on and without them getting on with two outs, the game is not the same," Martinez said. "It feels good just to tie the game up and give our team a chance."
"Quality pitch after quality pitch, I'll tell you what I like, that his facial expression, his emotion, it never changed," Porter said.
Nate Schierholtz hit a solo homer in the fifth to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead. It was his 10th homer this season, setting a career high.
Alfonso Soriano reached scoring position in the bottom of the eighth with a double to left field but was called out by second base umpire David Rackley on a pickoff play that drew Chicago manager Dale Sveum out of the dugout for an argument.
Replays showed Soriano made it back to the bag before the tag.
"I know I had tagged the base before his glove tagged my hands," Soriano said. "I know my lead at second base. It doesn't matter how good of a move the pitcher has, I know my lead and I know I can get back. It doesn't matter if he has a good move."
"Soriano is safe at second base, so there is a run," Sveum said. "It's a broken record. We just can't seem to get that hit to break the game open in those situations. We get guys on and we just can't get them in."
Chicago starter Travis Wood appeared to be in control after getting a pair of outs to start the sixth inning. But after hard-hit singles by Altuve and Carter, Martinez tied the game with a long home run that cleared the left-field bleachers on its way to Waveland Avenue.
"Out of the park, literally out of the park, that was my only one," Martinez said. "This is really the only park you can do it. Everywhere else you've got to hit it 900 feet."
Wood had given up just two hits heading into the sixth and looked primed to earn his first victory in his last four starts.
"Really, it just falls back on me not being able to execute the pitches at that point," Wood said. "I missed bad (on the home run pitch). It was supposed to be back door and it ended up coming all the way across the plate and that just can't happen."
Luis Valbuena put the Cubs ahead with a two-run single in the third after a pair of Houston errors.
Barney hit a grounder to third that looked like a sure double play, but Dominguez threw high to second. Astros catcher Carlos Corporan compounded the mistake with an errant pickoff attempt that hit second base and ricocheted into shallow left field, allowing both runners to advance.
|Players of the Game|
Majestic Astros Youth Compulsion To Win T-Shirt - Orange Shop Now!
|Brandon Barnes, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.264|
|Jose Altuve, 2B||3||1||2||0||1||0||1||.298|
|Chris Carter, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.221|
|J.D. Martinez, LF||4||1||1||3||0||1||2||.251|
|Carlos Corporan, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.290|
|Justin Maxwell, RF||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||.237|
|Matt Dominguez, 3B||2||0||0||0||1||1||1||.240|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||2||0||0||1||0||1||0||.252|
|Bud Norris, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Marc Krauss, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Jose Cisnero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Lucas Harrell, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Jose Veras, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Norris in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Cisnero in the 9th|
|2B - Jose Altuve (14, Wood), Justin Maxwell (6, Gregg)|
|HR - J.D. Martinez (7, Wood)|
|SH - Matt Dominguez (2), Ronny Cedeno 2 (5)|
|RBI - J.D. Martinez 3 (28), Ronny Cedeno (11)|
|2-OUT RBI - J.D. Martinez 3 (13)|
|SB - Jose Altuve (17, 2nd base off Parker/Castillo)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Justin Maxwell 1|
|DP - Cedeno-Carter, Maxwell-Carter|
|E - Carlos Corporan (3, Throwing), Matt Dominguez (9, Throwing)|
|Jose Cisnero (W,2-0)||2||2||0||0||2||0||0||2.20|
|Jose Veras (S,15)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.82|
|IBB - Rizzo by Jose Cisnero|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 97-63, Jose Cisnero 38-20, Jose Veras 6-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 6-6, Jose Cisnero 2-3, Jose Veras 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Bud Norris 26, Jose Cisnero 9, Jose Veras 3|
|Luis Valbuena, 3B||5||0||1||2||0||0||2||.243|
|Starlin Castro, SS||5||0||1||0||0||1||0||.231|
|Nate Schierholtz, RF||3||1||1||1||1||0||0||.289|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.245|
|Anthony Rizzo, 1B||2||0||0||0||2||1||3||.245|
|Ryan Sweeney, CF||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.292|
|Welington Castillo, C||3||1||2||0||1||0||1||.275|
|Darwin Barney, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||4||.226|
|Travis Wood, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||4||.258|
|Shawn Camp, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Julio Borbon, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Blake Parker, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kevin Gregg, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Scott Hairston, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.160|
|a-grounded out for Camp in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Gregg in the 9th|
|2B - Alfonso Soriano (17, Cisnero)|
|HR - Nate Schierholtz (10, Norris)|
|RBI - Luis Valbuena 2 (21), Nate Schierholtz (27)|
|PK - Alfonso Soriano (1, Cisnero)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Valbuena-Barney-Rizzo|
|E - Welington Castillo (8, Throwing), Starlin Castro (12, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kevin Gregg (L,2-1)||1||1||1||1||0||1||0||1.11|
|HBP - Corporan (by Travis Wood)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Travis Wood 89-55, Shawn Camp 19-14, Blake Parker 16-8, Kevin Gregg 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Travis Wood 9-4, Shawn Camp 2-1, Blake Parker 2-0, Kevin Gregg 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Travis Wood 25, Shawn Camp 3, Blake Parker 4, Kevin Gregg 4|
|Attendance - 38870|
|Game Time - 3:02|
|Temperature - 74|
|Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - David Rackley, Third Base - Clint Fagan|