Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Casey Coleman threw seven shutout innings to help the Chicago Cubs take a 2-0 win over the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game series.
Coleman (4-2) gave up just six hits and a walk with two strikeouts and drove in a run. Welington Castillo added an RBI for the Cubs, who have won four of their last five.
"It was awesome. It builds a lot of confidence, it's huge for the off-season, going into spring training," said Coleman about finishing the season in solid fashion. "It sets you up for a fresh start next year, knowing you can pitch here and gaining a lot of confidence in yourself, your teammates and coaches."
Bud Norris (9-10) was tagged with the loss for giving up two runs on three hits with seven walks and six strikeouts over six innings for the Astros, who have lost five of six.
"I've worked hard," Norris said in summing up his season. "Getting to know (Brad) Arnsberg and (Brett) Myers, the pitching staff and everybody else around the clubhouse, we've all done well together for a reason. We've come together as a group and there's a lot I can take out of this and carry the momentum into next year."
The Cubs got on the board in the second when Bobby Scales led off with a walk and came home on a Castillo double for a 1-0 lead.
Chicago made it a 2-0 game in the fourth as a one-out walk from Scales was followed two batters later by a double from Coleman for a 2-0 advantage.
The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Norris hit into a double play to end the frame.
Jason Michaels doubled with one out in the seventh, but Coleman kept the Astros off the board by retiring the next two batters.
Andrew Cashner worked around a leadoff single in the eighth, while Carlos Marmol set the Astros down in order in the ninth for his 38th save of the season.
Houston has taken 10 of the 16 games with Chicago this season...The Cubs have shut out their opponents in three of their last five games and have 14 shutouts on the season...Houston went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.