Wednesday night’s Cubs versus Astros game was eerily similar to Tuesday’s game – right up until the bottom of the eighth inning, that is. The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the first courtesy of a Reed Johnson homerun. Johnson’s fly ball into the Crawford boxes off Wandy Rodriguez gave the Cubs their first lead of the series. In Tuesday’s game the Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first when Jose Altuve went deep.
The Astros took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning on a two out 2-run triple by J.D. Martinez. Houston caught a break as it appeared that David DeJesus would secure the catch, but second-baseman Darwin Barney ran into the right-fielder and jarred the ball loose. Jeff Samardzija and Wandy Rodriguez would string zeroes across the scoreboard and the Astros went into the bottom of the eighth with a 2-1 lead.
Cubs closer Rafael Dolis came in to pitch the eighth and was a bit rusty. The Cubs have lost eight in a row and Dolis hasn’t had much work lately. J.D. Martinez came through again with a clutch two out hit to drive in Carlos Lee, giving Houston a 3-1 lead. Martinez is now officially out of his prolonged slump. A pair of walks and a hit batsman plated two more runs to make it 5-1 and Dolis was done.
Brett Myers came in and closed the door in the ninth to give the Astros a sweep in the three-game series. Brandon Lyon picked up his second hold of the season with a scoreless eighth. The Astros bullpen pitchers (AKA “The Regulators) made a video earlier in the day, so the chance for a jinx was there. But the lowly Cubs cooperated and dropped their ninth straight contest. The Cubs outhit the Astros in all three games but couldn’t come through in key situations like the Astros hitters did.
Wandy Rodriguez improved to 4-4 with the win and Jason Castro did a nice job behind the plate. Wandy was bouncing curveballs all night and Jason was blocking them and keeping the ball in front of him every time.
The Astros finished the homestand with a 6-2 record and have an off day tomorrow. The club travels to Los Angeles for a three-game weekend series against the Dodgers followed by four games in Colorado, including a Memorial Day double-header.