Astros 3, Cubs 1

It was a warm day at Wrigley Field with a stiff wind blowing out

to right field and starting pitchers with a combined ERA of nearly

12.

A day for the hitters, right? It didn’t turn out that way.

Brett Myers outdueled Doug Davis and the Houston Astros beat the

Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Wednesday to finish off a three-game sweep.

”I used my head a little bit better,” Myers said. ”I have a

pretty good feel pitching against these guys. I’ve faced them

enough that I know how I want to pitch them. Whether it works or

not, that’s a different story.”

Houston’s Michael Bourn hit a go-ahead two-run single in the

seventh, breaking a tied game.

Myers (2-4) won his sixth straight decision against the Cubs,

improving to 12-3 with a 2.12 ERA in his career against the Astros’

NL Central rivals.

”This is a boost for us,” Myers said. ”We played really good

baseball the whole series.”

Doug Davis (0-4) matched Myers for six innings, but was

responsible for the decisive runs when reliever Sean Marshall gave

up Bourn’s single with two outs in the seventh. Davis allowed nine

hits and struck out five in 6 1-3 innings, his longest outing since

April 24 last season.

”That’s the guy (Davis) I saw beating us in the other dugout

for a lot of years,” Quade said. ”He just confounds the daylights

out of you.”

Davis fell to 3-12 in his career against the Astros.

”They played well all series,” Marshall said. ”They pitched

well. The relievers pitched well. They got some timely hits and we

ended up on the short end of the stick.”

Jason Michaels hit a solo homer and Bourn, Clint Barmes, Carlos

Lee and Jeff Keppinger had two hits apiece for the Astros. Bourn

stole two bases, increasing his NL-leading total to 22.

Pitching for the third straight day, Astros closer Mark Melancon

worked around a lead-off walk in the ninth, saving his fourth game

in six chances this season. Melancon’s outing capped a three

scoreless innings performance by Houston’s bullpen.

Kosuke Fukudome homered to lead off the game for Chicago, but

that was all the offense the Cubs could muster. They had just three

hits on the day.

Keppinger started Houston’s seventh-inning rally with a single,

and Chris Johnson hit a hard grounder down the third-base line.

Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez dove for the ball, which appeared

to take a bad hop and strike him in the mouth area. He remained on

the ground while shortstop Starlin Castro retrieved the ball.

Ramirez was replaced by rookie D.J. LeMahieu and, as part of a

double switch by Cubs manager Mike Quade, Davis was removed for

reliever Kerry Wood.

Wood walked J.R. Towles, loading the bases, but struck out pinch

hitter Angel Sanchez. Quade summoned the lefty Marshall to face

Bourn, who singled to right and gave Houston a 3-1 lead.

”We’ve been playing pretty good baseball lately,” Bourn said.

”Throughout this series, everything has been going our way.”

Ramirez suffered lacerations on the inside of his lip that

required stitches. The club was waiting for him to be examined

before detemining if he would miss any time.

In the fourth, Lee reached on a bloop single when Cubs

left-fielder Blake DeWitt, a career infielder, broke back on the

ball. Davis picked Lee off of first base to eliminate the

threat.

After Fukudome’s leadoff homer, Myers settled down to retire 10

of the next 11 Cubs batters.

Long balls have been a problem for Myers all season, so it was

bad news that the notorious wind was blowing out at Wrigley. Sure

enough, Fukudome greeted him with a leadoff shot into the

right-centerfield bleachers. It was the third homer to lead off a

game.

Myers has allowed 15 homers this season, the most in the major

leagues.

The Astros played a little long ball of their own to even the

game in the second. Michaels went deep off Davis, his first homer

of the season.

”I haven’t faced him in a few years,” Michaels said. ”He’s a

guy that throws a lot of pitches, relies on deception, different

height levels and such. That’s exactly what he was doing to us

today. I was able to get myself into a good count. He missed over

the middle.”

The Astros did plenty of damage in Chicago, taking three

straight from the Cubs at Wrigley for the first time since Sept.

1-3, 2008.

”That was really big,” Michaels said. ”This is a tough place

to play and to come in and get a sweep, that’s big.”

NOTES: The Cubs’ Matt Garza (right elbow) threw a side session

Wednesday, will throw another in St. Louis this weekend and could

rejoin the rotation next week in Cincinnati. … Astros rookie

Jordan Lyles’s first big league start on Tuesday night got a little

worse Wednesday. The run he was charged with was changed to earned

by the official scorer. Lyles allowed two runs in 7-plus innings.

… Mills said OF Jason Bourgeois (strained left oblique) will join

Triple-A Oklahoma City this weekend. … The Astros’ Brandon Lyon

(right rotator cuff) will throw a simulated game Thursday in San

Diego. … Astros reliever Alberto Arias, who hasn’t pitched in a

game since 2009 because of injuries, will have surgery on his right

(throwing) shoulder Friday in Houston. … Houston’s Hunter Pence

extended his hitting streak to 13 games.