Porter on Astros' comeback and squeeze
J.D. Martinez tied the game with a three-run home run in the sixth inning and Justin Maxwell scored the game-winning run on a Ronny Cedeno safety squeeze as the Astros tied the series with the Cubs with a 4-3 win on Saturday at Wrigley Field.
Right-handed pitcher Bud Norris’ only glitch in the first two innings was a walk in the second. After allowing a leadoff single in the third, 3B Matt Dominguez and C Carlos Corporan committed back-to-back errors before Luis Valbuena hit a two-run single to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Norris also gave up a solo home run to Nate Schierlholtz in the fifth. He left the game with the game tied at 3-3. Final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K; 97 pitches (63 strikes).
Chicago’s Travis Wood was mowing down Astros batters early on, striking out five and allowing two scattered hits – a first-inning double by Jose Altuve and a second-inning single by Maxwell – through the first five innings, but the Astros were able tie it up in the sixth. He left the game after issuing a leadoff walk in the seventh. Final line: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR; 89 pitches (55 strikes).
AT THE PLATE:
Astros manager Bo Porter started all right-handed batters against the lefty Wood.
With two outs in the sixth, Altuve and Chris Carter hit back-to-back singles off Wood before Martinez drilled a three-run home run onto the street behind the left field bleacher seats. It was his seventh of the year.
Altuve had his team-leading 17th steal in the eighth but was left stranded.
Maxwell led off the ninth with a double and scored a run on a Cedeno sacrifice bunt, his second of the game.
The Astros had six total hits while the Cubs had eight.
IN THE FIELD:
The Astros entered Saturday’s game tied for the major league lead in errors committed with 56 (tied with the Dodgers). Dominguez and Corporan had two straight errors in the third inning to add to that total. The Cubs also had two errors in the game.
After doubling in the eighth, the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano was picked off by Corporan at second.
Houston’s defense entered the game with a league-leading 82 double plays turned and added two more on Saturday.
Right-hander Jose Cisnero relieved Norris in the seventh and retired all three batters he faced. He got out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth, getting Darwin Barney to fly out to center field. Cisnero was credited with the win, the second of his career.
Jose Veras retired all three batters he faced in the ninth for his 15th save of the season.
In Sunday’s 1:20 p.m. rubber game, RHP Jordan Lyles (4-1, 3.22 ERA) takes the mound for Houston and RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-7, 3.35 ERA) gets the start for Chicago.
The Astros will be back at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday starting a two-game set with St. Louis. Following an off day on Thursday, the Astros will be at home for three games with the Angels and four with the Rays.