Houston, TX – Ronny Cedeno bunted home the winning run in the ninth inning to lift the Houston Astros past the Chicago Cubs, 4-3, in the middle tilt of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Earlier in the frame, Justin Maxwell connected on a line drive double to left off Kevin Gregg (2-1) and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Dominguez. Cedeno then pushed a perfect bunt up the first-base line to put the Astros on top.
In the home half of the eighth, the calls didn't go the Cubs' way.
Alfonso Soriano doubled and Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked with one out. Soriano was picked off by Jose Cisnero (2-0) at second on a controversial call which was followed by a Ryan Sweeney single that could have possibly scored Soriano. Welington Castillo was walked to load the bases. Darwin Barney had a 3-1 count and took what appeared to be ball four before flying out two pitches later.
Jose Veras threw a 1-2-3 ninth to collect his 15th save of the year.
J.D. Martinez had a three-run homer for the Astros, who have won seven of their last 10 games.
Bud Norris yielded three runs -- two earned -- on six hits while walking three in six effective innings of work for Houston.
"Bud Norris did a tremendous job for us tonight," said Houston manager Bo Porter. "Cisnero was huge again coming out of the bullpen and we had some great execution tonight. Just a good team win all around."
The Cubs got on the board in the third. Castillo singled and Darwin Barney reached on a fielding error by Dominguez. A failed pickoff attempt moved the runners up a base. Following a groundout, Luis Valbuena hit a two-run single. to right field.
Nate Schierholtz's homer in the fifth gave the Cubs a three-run cushion but it wouldn't last long.
With two outs in the sixth, Jose Altuve and Chris Carter connected on back-to- back singles. Martinez then crushed the ball over the wall in left field to tie the game at 3-3.
Cubs starter Travis Wood, who was cruising until the sixth inning came around, allowed three runs on five hits while fanning five. He is winless in his last four starts.
"He did what he was supposed to do and I didn't do what I was supposed to do," said Wood about Martinez's home run.
Houston was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position... Chicago was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position ... Schierholtz's homer was just the seventh against Norris all year ... Barney extended his errorless streak to 62 games.