Astros pay a visit to Wrigley Field

Hard-throwing righty Matt Garza makes a fourth attempt at game series at Wrigley Field.

An offseason trade acquisition from Tampa Bay, Garza is 0-2 lifetime against Houston in three starts with a 3.00 earned run average across 21 innings with eight walks and 23 strikeouts.

He last faced Houston on July 24 in Chicago and got a no-decision after allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. The Cubs won the game, 5-4.

Garza has won three of his last four decisions and two in a row, including a 4-3 defeat of Cincinnati on Sept. 5. He allowed an earned run in 7 2/3 innings of that start and has gone six innings or more in seven of his last 10 outings.

Houston counters with 32-year-old lefty Wandy Rodriguez, who's won 11 games in two straight seasons.

The Dominican got No. 11 with a six-inning outing in Washington on Sept. 10, when he gave up three runs on seven hits in a 9-3 triumph.

He's 5-6 in 18 career starts against the Cubs, including a 5-1 loss at Wrigley Field on July 23 - when he allowed two runs in seven innings.

Houston is 5-5 in his last 10 starts, alternating losses and wins.

On Thursday in Cincinnati, Jay Bruce hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to vault the Reds over the Cubs, 8-6, in the finale of a four-game series.

The Cubs trailed 6-4 in the top of the ninth, but pinch-hitter Alfonso Soriano knocked in Tony Campana with his 400th career double and Darwin Barney tied the game with an RBI single.

Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd both hit homers in the first off of Reds starter Homer Bailey, who allowed four runs over six innings while recording a season high-tying nine strikeouts.

Cubs starter Randy Wells surrendered five runs over 4 1/3 innings. He has not lost since July 28.

On Wednesday in Houston, Roy Halladay tossed a six-hit shutout and the Philadelphia Phillies clinched a playoff berth Wednesday by edging the Astros, 1-0, in the finale of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

Bud Norris (6-10) suffered the loss despite pitching seven solid innings. He allowed one run while scattering four hits, walking one and striking out three.

The Astros went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and have dropped eight of 12.