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Astros Hold Off Feisty Cubs In 12th, Escape Wrigley With 4-3 Win

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Jason Michaels delivered a tie-breaking, two- run, pinch-hit double and scored in the 12th inning to lift Houston over the Chicago Cubs, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game set.

Brandon Lyon (6-4) worked his way out of jams in the 10th and 11th innings to grab the win for the Astros, who have captured each of the first three series between the teams this season. Gustavo Chacin served up a two-out, two-run home run to Geovany Soto and survived a very shaky 12th to earn his first career save.

Angel Sanchez had three hits and drove in a run for Houston, which has won back-to-back series at Wrigley Field for the first time since the 2002-03 seasons.

Bob Howry (1-3) took the loss after allowing two runs on a pair of hits while recording only one out for the Cubs, who have lost three straight series to Houston for the first time since June 5 - July 5, 2006.

Howry opened the 12th on the hill in a 1-1 game for the Cubs and allowed back-to-back singles to Jeff Keppinger and Chris Johnson to start the frame before Jason Castro bunted into a force at third.

James Russell came on to replace Howry and got Michael Bourn to ground out, which advanced the runners to second and third.

Jeff Stevens then took over and gave up Michaels' two-run double into the alley in left-center field. Sanchez followed with a base hit to right field to plate Michaels and give Houston a 4-1 edge.

Chacin retired the first two hitters in the home half of the inning before Kosuke Fukodome walked and scored when Soto blasted his long ball to left.

Ryan Theriot kept the rally going with a single and moved to second base when pinch-hitter Jeff Baker walked before Tyler Colvin lined out to right to end the game.

The Cubs missed out chances to end the game in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings. They put runners at the corners with one out in the ninth, but could not score after Alfonso Soriano flied out to shallow center and Colvin struck out against Tim Byrdak.

The hosts loaded the bases with one out in the tenth on a Starlin Castro double and a pair of walks, but Lyon navigated his way through the jam by striking out Fukodome and getting Soto to fly out.

Chicago left runners at second and third in the 11th after Derrek Lee flied out to end the frame.

"There's no secret we're in a bad spot," said Lee of the Cubs position in the standings. "We need to rack up as many wins as possible and the best way to go about that is winning series. Today we had a chance to win one and we let it slip away."

The Cubs broke up a scoreless game in the fifth on a two-out, run-scoring double by Castro that plated starting pitcher Ted Lilly, who had singled to pick up his first hit of the year earlier in the inning.

Houston starter Brett Myers tossed seven innings to extend his franchise- record to 20 consecutive starts to open the season lasting at least six innings. The right-hander yielded a lone run on five hits and two walks while striking out eight and left trailing, 1-0.

"I don't know, I couldn't tell you," Myers said when asked to explain his career success at Wrigley Field. "I guess when I grew up I watched a lot of Cubs and a lot of Braves games, so it is one of those stadiums where you like to succeed in and pitch in an historic place."

Lilly took a five-hit shutout into the eighth inning before Pedro Feliz led off with a pinch-hit home run to left to tie the game.

Sanchez singled with one out to chase the left-hander from the game and bring on Sean Marshall, who retired Lance Berkman and Hunter Pence to end the frame.

Lilly allowed seven hits while walking one and fanning six over 7 1/3 innings.

The Astros last back-to-back series wins at Wrigley came when they took three of four from August 12-15, 2002 and two out of three from May 30-June 1, 2003. Myers has a 1.79 ERA in 40 1/3 career innings at Wrigley and is the lowest among active pitchers there who have thrown a minimum of 30 innings. Feliz snapped an 0-for-14 drought with his long ball and is just 2-for-23 during the month of July....Roy Oswalt was the last Houston pitcher to string together 20 straight starts of six innings or more when did it from May 11- August 22, 2005...Keppinger went 2-for-5 and has 30 multi-hit games this year... Houston right-hander Felipe Paulino was diagnosed with a mild rotator cuff strain after being examined by team doctors Tuesday. He is expected to be out for approximately another four weeks...The Cubs have been held to three runs or fewer in 17 of their last 29 games...Lilly is 7-0 in nine starts against Houston since July 14, 2007. He had thrown 26 2/3 consecutive scoreless frames against the Astros until Feliz's home run...The Cubs are 12-21 in one-run games.

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