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Cubs Take Second Straight Over 'Stros, 8-3

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Aramis Ramirez hit a grand slam and Marlon Byrd drove in three runs, as theCubs pounded the Astros, 8-3.

Carlos Zambrano (11-6) finished his tumultuous 2010 campaign on an eight- decision winning streak, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on three hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings for Chicago, which has won three straight, including the first two in this three-game series.

"I came back strong after the suspension and did what I had to do to be ready to finish the season like the way I have," Zambrano said. "It's been a good month and a half and I will use this to prepare for next season."

J.A. Happ (6-4) was tagged for eight runs -- seven earned -- on eight hits and five walks in just three-plus frames. The left-hander was winless in his final five starts of the season for Houston, which has dropped three in a row.

"It's tough to end the season on that one," a disappointed Happ said. "I'm not going to let it take away from what I feel like I accomplished this season. It's a loss and you try to learn from it but it is tough going into the off- season that way."

Byrd plated Jeff Baker with a groundout in the first inning, and Alfonso Soriano doubled home Starlin Castrolater in the frame.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the second and fourth frames, with Byrd knocking in a pair with a single in the former and Ramirez blasting his ninth career grand slam in the latter, ending Happ's outing.

Zambrano had his 19-inning scoreless streak snapped in the seventh when Hunter Pence scored on Chris Johnson's fielder's choice. Brett Wallace followed with a two-run double to the left-field gap, but that was as close as Houston got.

Chicago has surrendered three or fewer runs in 15 straight road games... Zambrano lowered his earned-run average from 5.61 to 3.33 since returning to the rotation on August 9...Chicago's bullpen has a streak of 26 consecutive scoreless innings...Ryan Dempster will toe the rubber for the Cubs in the season finale on Sunday opposite Wandy Rodriguez.

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