Series: Game 3 of 3

Chi Cubs won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, June 29
Chi Cubs4
Game 2: Saturday, June 30
Chi Cubs3
Game 3: Sunday, July 1
Chi Cubs3

Astros 0

(32-47, 9-28 away)

Cubs 3

(29-49, 19-20 home)

    2:20 PM ET, July 1, 2012

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 000000000 0 4 0
    CHC 00000300 - 3 5 0

    W: T. Wood (3-3)

    L: W. Rodriguez (6-6)

    S: C. Marmol (8)

    Astros-Cubs Preview


    Anthony Rizzo is giving the Chicago Cubs an encouraging glimpse of what to expect in future seasons.

    For the time being, he is helping depressed North Side fans cope with what is shaping up as a lost season, and has his team in position to sweep its first series in a month.

    Rizzo and the Cubs look to complete a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros on Sunday at Wrigley Field.

    Rizzo hit his first homer of the season Saturday, a two-run, go-ahead shot to lift Chicago to a 3-2 victory over the Astros. Since being called up Tuesday, the 22-year-old first baseman has two game-winning hits in four contests and the Cubs (28-49) have won three times.

    "It's good to come into a new clubhouse and produce like that and help the team win," Rizzo said. "It's a lot of fun when you do that. It's just good to win."

    The Cubs haven't done a lot of winning this season -- they're on pace to match the single-season franchise record of 103 losses, set in 1966 -- but a victory Sunday would give them their first three-game winning streak since sweeping San Diego from May 28-30.

    Rizzo, who had 23 homers in 70 games for Triple-A Iowa, went deep Saturday against fellow left-hander J.A. Happ.

    "That's another thing I worked on hard this year, hitting lefties and I feel comfortable if it's a lefty or righty," he said.

    He'll get a chance to face another southpaw Sunday with Houston (32-46) giving the ball to Wandy Rodriguez (6-5, 3.52 ERA).

    Rodriguez permitted five runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings of Monday's 8-7, 10-inning loss to San Diego. The Astros, owners of the majors' worst road record at 9-27, have lost seven of Rodriguez's last 10 starts.

    Rodriguez pitched well in his lone outing of the season against the Cubs on May 23, yielding a solo homer to Reed Johnson and seven other hits over seven innings of a 5-1 victory. He is 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 10 starts against Chicago since 2009.

    The Cubs counter with Travis Wood (2-3, 3.54), who allowed five hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings of Monday's 6-1 win over the New York Mets. The lefty has yielded one run over 13 innings in his last two starts, and had a 2.27 ERA in five June outings.

    He also pitched well in Houston on May 22, allowing two runs, two hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings, but was saddled with a 2-1 loss. In four starts against the Astros since the start of last season, Wood is 1-1 with a 1.54 ERA -- his lowest against any team he has faced more than once.

    Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, who hit a solo homer off Wood in May, could play Sunday after missing six straight games because of a right hamstring injury.

    First baseman Carlos Lee, who has been the subject of trade rumors involving the Los Angeles Dodgers, could decide his future with the Astros by Sunday. He is 2 for 12 lifetime against Wood.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

    Current StreakL1W1
    Last 105-52-8

    Pitching Matchup

    W. Rodriguez
    12-13, 3.76 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/30 at PIT
    6.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = ND
    T. Wood
    6-13, 4.27 ERA

    Last Game:
    10/3 vs HOU
    6.1 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = ND

    Gameday Lineups

    1. J. Altuve, 2B R. Johnson, RF
    2. J. Lowrie, SS S. Castro, SS
    3. C. Lee, 1B A. Rizzo, 1B
    4. J. Martinez, LF J. Baker, RF
    5. M. Downs, 3B G. Soto, C
    6. B. Bogusevic, CF J. Mather, LF
    7. B. Bixler, RF D. Barney, 2B
    8. J. Castro, C L. Valbuena, 3B
    9. W. Rodriguez, P T. Wood, P

    Research Notes

    After allowing 20 earned runs in 11 starts in April and May, Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez allowed 20 earned runs in five June starts, including five in his last outing.
    Cubs catcher Geovany Soto is 9-for-21 (.429 BA) with three homers in his career against Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez.

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