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In all three games, superior pitching coupled with strong plate discipline allowed the Astros to take the series. The Astros combined during the series for 21 hits, fewer than the Cubs 27, but managed to outscore the Cubs 15-6. In terms of batting this was in part due to their ability to draw 11 walks while the Cubs drew only 5.
Those stats, coupled with Bud Norris, J.A. Happ and Wandy Rodriguez’s ability to get themselves out of jams when it really mattered was key to the success bringing their record to 26-10 at home just past the quarter mark of the season.
The series saw a plethora of home runs. In game one, Jason Castro, Chris Johnson and Jed Lowrie all went yard while game two saw Jose Altuve do the same. In addition, J.D. Martinez seemed to find his batting groove again contributing the game winning RBI in game two and three RBIs in game three.
The Astros look to continue their success as they head out on the road, taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers beginning Friday.
The Houston Astros got a relatively easy victory at home over the visiting Chicago Cubs and took the final game of their series by a score of 5-1.
Wandy Rodriguez got the victory for the Astros, evening his record to 4-4 this season. He went seven full innings, gave up eight hits with only one earned run and struck out five Chicago batters. J.D. Martinez led the Houston offense with three RBI's while Jose Altuve and Matt Downs drove in one each.
As for the Cubs, they continue to struggle this season as Wednesday night's loss was their ninth in a row. Chicago managed 10 hits in the ballgame but their only run came in the first inning on a Reed Johnson homer. The team was 0-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.
The Houston Astros will look to sweep away the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night in Houston, and inch closer to the .500 mark in the process. Houston won Monday night's contest 8-4, and won again on Tuesday 2-1, behind J.A. Happ's solid effort on the mound.
Both Brad Milles and Dale "Send 'Em" Sveum have announced the starting lineups for Wednesday night, and they are as follows:
With Rodriguez, a lefty, on the mound for Houston, the Cubs will be sitting Bryan LaHair -- who has been the team's best hitter to date, despite his recent struggles.
For more on the Houston Astros, be sure to head over to the Crawfish Boxes and join the discussion.
The Astros are looking to close out a home sweep of the struggling Chicago Cubs, who've now lost eight straight after two losses to Houston. Wandy Rodriguez will start, but his strong ERA - 2.24 this season - belies how ineffective his team has been when he's started, as the team is only 3-6 when he pitches. That could change Wednesday, as the Astros have the second best run-differential in the division, while Chicago has the worst. This is the 20th career start against the Cubs for Rodriguez, who is 5-6 lifetime with a 3.99 ERA.
Date / Time: Wednesday, May 23, 6:05 p.m. CT
Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
TV: Fox Sports Houston, WGN
Radio: KTRH 740, KLAT 1010
Probable Starters: Wandy Rodriguez (3-4) vs. Jeff Samardzija (4-2)
J.D. Martinez hit an RBI-single with two outs in the sixth inning and the Astros pitching was able to hold on for the 2-1 win Tuesday night in Houston.
J.A. Happ gave up one earned run on five hits over six innings and picked up the win. The Astros opened the scoring when Jose Altuve hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first. Alfonso Soriano answered with a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning to tie the game.
Altuve was the only hitter on either team to record multiple hits, going 2-for-4. Martinez went 1-for-3. Third baseman Chris Johnson was ejected in the fourth inning after arguing an out play at first base.
Jordan Schafer is back in the Houston Astros lineup Tuesday night, just three days after a left leg muscle strain pulled him from a game, but the left handed hitting Schafer will bat at the bottom of the order against lefty Travis Wood. With Jd Lowrie, a switch hitter, the 1-7 batters for Houston will all bat right against Chicago:
1. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
2. Jed Lowrie (S) SS
3. Justin Maxwell (R) RF
4. Carlos Lee (R) 1B
5. J.D. Martinez (R) LF
6. Chris Johnson (R) 3B
7. Chris Snyder (R) C
8. Jordan Schafer (L) CF
9. J.A. Happ (L) P
1. David DeJesus (L) RF
2. Reed Johnson (R) CF
3. Starlin Castro (R) SS
4. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF
5. Joe Mather (R) 3B
6. Jeff Baker (R) 1B
7. Darwin Barney (R) 2B
8. Blake Lalli (L) C
9. Travis Wood (R) P
Coming off an 8-4 victory in which they blasted three home runs and Bud Norris pitched seven scoreless innings Monday, the Houston Astros are looking to follow that performance up with another win over the Chicago Cubs in the second of a three-game series Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.
Here is a look at the schedule and broadcast information for the Cubs-Astros game:
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 22, 7:05 CDT
Location: MInute Maid Park - Houston, TX
TV: Fox Sports Houston
Online streaming: MLB.TV
Bud Norris continued a solid season by throwing a gem for the Astros on Monday.
Norris gave up five hits over seven scoreless innings as the Astros took Monday's series-opener against the Cubs 8-3.
The long ball was big for the Houston bats. The Astros opened the scoring in the second inning when Jason Casto hit a three-run homer. Castro went 1-for-3 on the night. After a Carlos Lee RBI-single in the third, Chris Johnson hit a three-run homer later in the inning as the Astros broke the game open. Both Lee and Johnson went 2-for-4. Jed Lowrie added a solo bomb in the seventh.
The Cubs finally got on the board in the ninth with three RBI-singles, but it was too little, too late. Enerio Del Rosario gave up the three runs, so Fernando Abad and Wilton Lopez were called on the close out the game.
The Houston Astros are calling up Enerio Del Rosario from their minor league affiliate Oklahoma City RedHawks to replace Jordan Lyles, who was sent back down to Triple-A after giving up six earned runs in five innings pitched against the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Astros bring up reliever Enerio Del Rosario from OKC. Replaces Jordan Lyles who went back to Triple-A— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 21, 2012
Houston won't actually need another starting pitcher until their doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies on May 28. Also, as noted at The Crawfish Boxes earlier Monday, the Astros are allowed to have a 26-man active roster against the Rockies because it is a "unique double-header", meaning that nobody has to be optioned to make room for a starting pitcher on the 28th. So more adjustments to the pitching lineup should be expected between now and then.
Read more about the Astros at The Crawfish Boxes.
The Houston Astros host the Chicago Cubs this week at Minute Maid Park and are poised to take another series.
The Houston Astros will look to get back on track after dropping two of three games against the Texas Rangers this past weekend. They'll now turn their attention to the Chicago Cubs for the first time this season.
Bud Norris will take the hill in Houston, and so far this season that has been a recipe for success. Norris is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA at home this year in four starts.
Opposing Norris will be Matt Garza, who in four career starts against the Astros has yet to beat them. Carlos Lee has taken Garza deep twice in 13 career at-bats against him.
Game Date/Time: Monday, May 21, 7:05 p.m. CT
Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Pitching Matchup: Bud Norris (4-1, 3.58 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (2-1, 2.58 ERA)
TV: Fox Sports Houston
Radio: 740 KTRH, 1010 KLAT
Online Streaming: MLB.tv
At the quarter point of the 2012 MLB season the Astros are in fourth place and are 4.5 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals
Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.