Final in 12

Series: Game 3 of 3

Houston won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, July 19
Chi Cubs5
Game 2: Tuesday, July 20
Chi Cubs14
Game 3: Wednesday, July 21
in 12
Chi Cubs3

Astros 4

(39-56, 19-30 away)

Cubs 3

(43-53, 24-26 home)

    2:20 PM ET, July 21, 2010

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    23456789101112 R H E
    HOU 00000010003 4 11 1
    CHC 00010000002 3 12 0

    W: B. Lyon (6-4)

    L: B. Howry (1-3)

    S: G. Chacin (1)

    Michaels swats two-out, two-run double to lift Astros by Cubs in 12th

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- Both bullpens were spent, runs were scarce and the Houston Astros had trouble making a quick getaway Wednesday. That's OK. They'll take it. Their 12-inning victory over the Chicago Cubs made it all worth it.

    "It did take a while," manager Brad Mills said after the 4-3 victory. "We kept battling. In a game like this our bullpen was on fumes."

    Pinch-hitter Jason Michaels delivered a two-out, two-run double in the 12th and scored on Angel Sanchez's single, giving the Astros a 4-1 lead. They needed all of it after Geovany Soto hit a two-run homer off Gustavo Chacin in the bottom half.

    Ryan Theriot followed Soto's 13th homer with a base hit and pinch-hitter Jeff Baker walked before Tyler Colvin lined out to right, giving Chacin his first career save.

    The Astros took two of three in the series at Wrigley Field, bouncing back after Tuesday's difficult 14-7 loss that featured 13 unanswered runs by the Cubs and a three-homer night by Chicago slugger Aramis Ramirez.

    "To get that series win feels great," Michaels said. "Two outs, second and third, I was just trying to have a good at-bat and get myself in position. ... I got lucky and found the gap."

    Jeff Keppinger and Chris Johnson started the 12th with consecutive singles. After Jason Castro forced Keppinger at third with a bunt back to Bob Howry (1-3), James Russell relieved and Michael Bourn's grounder moved the runners to second and third.

    Michaels greeted Jeff Stevens, the seventh Chicago reliever, with a drive into the alley in left-center.

    Chicago threatened in the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th but couldn't get the big hit, leaving 16 runners on base for the game.

    "We scored 14 last night," manager Lou Piniella said the day after he announced his retirement at the end of the season. "If we would have got all the guys we left on [base] today, we would have scored 14 today. We just didn't get them in."

    The Cubs had second and third in the 11th before Brandon Lyon (6-4) got Derrek Lee to fly out. Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the 10th on a double by Starlin Castro and two walks before Lyon struck out Kosuke Fukudome and retired pinch-hitter Soto on a fly to left.

    Houston tied it at 1 in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Pedro Feliz started the inning with a drive into the left-field bleachers off Chicago starter Ted Lilly.

    "I made a bad pitch to Pedro Feliz. I feel it cost us the game," Lilly said.

    After the teams combined for 37 runs in the first two games of the series, the finale was a contrast for most of the day with a light wind blowing in at Wrigley Field as Lilly and Brett Myers locked up in a pitchers' duel.

    Myers allowed five hits in seven innings, including Lilly's single in the fifth that snapped the pitcher's skid at 0 for 33 dating to last season. Lilly then motored all the way from first to score on Starlin Castro's two-out double to left.

    Lilly, the subject of trade speculation, yielded seven hits in 7 1/3 innings, including two singles by Myers.

    "I don't know," Lilly said when asked if expected to be around for the rest of the season. "There is a lot of speculation and rumors that are thrown out there. From my experience, they don't necessarily mean something is going to happen."

    Game notes

    Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell said he appreciates having his name mentioned as a possible successor for Piniella, adding it's too early to talk about that with more than two months left in the season. Trammell managed Detroit from 2003-05 and compiled a 186-300 record, including a 119-loss season in his first year. "Losing 119 games and you're almost part of baseball history in a negative way that certainly tests you in a lot of ways," Trammell said. Trammell, a star shortstop for the Tigers who also works with Cubs infielders, said he does want to continue to be involved in the game, whether it be coaching or managing. ... Astros ace Roy Oswalt, also rumored to be moving at or before the trade deadline, said after the game his preference would be to join a team that has a chance to be in the playoffs. "I'm just going to wait until they come to me and ask me what they have for a deal and what they are thinking about," he said. "Wait for my options and go from there."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumWrigley Field, Chicago, IL
    Attendance38,533 (93.9% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:56
    Weather81 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind7 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Paul Nauert, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Brian Gorman

    Research Notes

    The Cubs lead the majors with 60 quality starts. They have also lost 27 times when recording a quality start, which is tied (currently) with the Mariners for the most losses in quality starts in the majors.
    Its the longest such streak to START A SEASON since Pedro Martinez had 22 straight starts of 6+ IP in 2005 (Mark Buehrle also had a 21-start streak in 2005). ------------------------------------------ Houston's Brett Myers has now pitched at least 6 innings in all 20 starts this season, the first Astros pitcher with a streak of that length since 2005 in Roy Oswalt (20 straight starts of at least 6 IP, May 11-August 22).

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