Cubs shut out for 16th time; Loss 101 - New York News

Cubs shut out for 16th time; Loss 101

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Bud Norris pitched six shutout innings, Jason Castro homered and the Houston Astros beat the Chicago Cubs 3-0 Tuesday night in a matchup of 100-loss teams.
 
   The season-ending series between NL Central clubs marks the first meeting of 100-loss teams in the majors since 1962, when the Cubs played the New York Mets.
 
   Houston (55-106) threw its third straight shutout and won for the fifth time in six games. The Astros have already matched last year's franchise-worst loss total with one game left.
 
   Norris (7-13) scattered four hits and won back-to-back starts for the first time since May.
 
   Norris pitched out of several sticky situations. He put runners in scoring position with less than two out in four consecutive innings but didn't allow any runs to cross home. Norris struck out Luis Valbuena and Welington Castillo with runners on second and third to end a fourth-inning threat.
 
   The 27-year-old endured a 19-start winless stretch before winning his last two. Four Astros relievers held the Cubs hitless over the final three innings. Wilton Lopez worked the ninth for his 10th save in 13 chances.
 
   Jordan Lyles tossed a complete game at Milwaukee on Sunday and Lucas Harrell and three relievers combined to blank the Cubs on Monday.
 
   Chris Volstad (3-12) took the loss for the Cubs, who fell to 60-101.
 
   Castro hit his sixth homer of the year, sending a solo shot into the right-field bleachers with two outs in the second inning. Justin Maxwell reached on shortstop Starlin Castro's 27th blunder of the year following the home run, and came around to score on Tyler Greene's RBI single.
 
   Volstad was otherwise effective, striking out six and walking none in seven innings. He had gone eight innings over his previous two starts without striking out a batter.
 
   Astros pinch-hitter Brian Bogusevic walked and scored on Alberto Cabrera's wild pitch to add an insurance run in the eighth.
 
   The Cubs were blanked for the 16th time this season. It's the second time they have been shutout in back-to-back games, the other instance coming July 21-22 at St. Louis.
 
   NOTES: Astros OF Scott Moore left in the second when he was hurt diving for Castro's shallow popup. The team announced irritation in the AC joint in his left shoulder. ... Astros 2B Jose Altuve left in the fifth with discomfort in his left groin. ... The Astros start Edgar Gonzalez (3-1, 4.15 ERA) on Wednesday in their final game as a National League team. Travis Wood (6-13, 4.39) goes for Chicago. ... Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said he hopes to remain with the team in some capacity after the season. The team has already chosen Washington Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter the manager for 2013. "This has been a very special chapter," DeFrancesco said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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