Series: Game 1 of 3

Chi Cubs leads 1-0 (as of 6/21)

Game 1: Friday, June 21
Chi Cubs3
Game 2: Saturday, June 22
Chi Cubs3
Game 3: Sunday, June 23
Chi Cubs14

Astros 1

(28-47, 13-22 away)

Cubs 3

(30-42, 16-21 home)

    2:20 PM ET, June 21, 2013

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 000000100 1 4 0
    CHC 00011100 - 3 10 1

    W: M. Garza (2-1)

    L: D. Keuchel (4-4)

    S: K. Gregg (11)

    Cubs 3, Astros 1

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- Houston outfielder Chris Carter showed why the Astros are being patient with him, displaying his power-hitting potential as well as his penchant for striking out.

    Carter hit his 15th home run, but also struck out with a man on base in the ninth inning of the Astros' 3-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday, a game delayed more than three hours by rain.

    "I'm just trying to be consistent," said Carter, who leads the major leagues in strikeouts with 105. "I'm glad they have faith in me and keep putting me up there and hopefully I'll get it together and be consistent for them."

    Carter represented the tying run in the ninth when he struck out against Cubs reliever Kevin Gregg for the second out with one on base. Gregg then retired Carlos Pena on a grounder for the save.

    Matt Garza pitched into the ninth inning and Anthony Rizzo hit his first home run since May 18 to lead the Cubs in the first interleague matchup between the teams.

    Carter broke up Garza's shutout bid with a leadoff homer in the seventh to get the Astros within 3-1.

    "That's what makes you stick with him because we see the power potential and we understand that when it clicks and it all comes together we have something that is really special," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "And we're going to stick with him and he's going to stick with it as well."

    Carter's 15th home run was a sharp line drive to right-center. Hitting opposite field has been what the Astros have been working on with Carter since acquiring him along with catcher Max Stassi and right-hander Brad Peacock for shortstop Jed Lowrie and right-hander Fernando Rodriguez in an offseason trade with Oakland.

    "We're starting to see him drive the ball the other way," Porter said. "And I told him today, I said, `You start driving the ball the other way like that and they're going to have nowhere to go but to come back to papa -- to the middle third of that plate.

    "And that's when he's going to do some real damage."

    Carter's teammates were less successful against Garza (2-1).

    The subject of trade speculation, Garza allowed four hits and struck out eight in eight-plus innings for his first win since beating Arizona on May 31.

    Garza, who threw seven scoreless innings Sunday in a no-decision against the Mets, walked Jose Altuve to begin the ninth and was replaced by Gregg, who earned his 11th save in 11 tries.

    "I'm a little upset I didn't finish it, but that's on me," Garza said. "I walked a leadoff guy in the ninth and there's no reason to leave me in there.

    "You've got a guy that's closing games really well now, so you just hand it over and watch."

    Astros starter Dallas Keuchel (4-4) lost for the second time in three decisions, pitching six innings and giving up three runs and nine hits while striking out a career-high nine.

    Darwin Barney and Scott Hairston also homered for the Cubs off Keuchel.

    "Even though there was a long rain delay I felt good with the fastball," Keuchel said. "They touched me for two solos on the first at-bats, in the fourth and then the sixth. Other than that I felt really good.

    "I kept the team in the game and that's all you can ask for."

    Rizzo, who entered in a 4-for-40 slump, finished with two hits after the start was delayed by rain for 3 hours, 18 minutes

    Rizzo's home run on Keuchel's first pitch of the fourth inning gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. His 11th homer of the season was a towering drive to right field that landed outside Wrigley Field and traveled an estimated 410 feet.

    "I thought he (Keuchel) made a couple of mistakes and they made him pay for it," Porter said. "They were all solo home runs and he did a good job of keeping us in the game.

    "Unfortunately offensively we couldn't muster too much off of their guy."

    Hairston added a solo home run off Keuchel in the sixth to make it 3-0.

    Keuchel lost for the second time in three decisions, pitching six innings and giving up three runs and nine hits while striking out a career-high nine.

    "That's the game of baseball," Porter said. "When you play tight games, that means that you're doing a lot of things well to keep yourself in the game."

    Game notes

    The Cubs traded Triple-A infielder Brent Lillibridge to the New York Yankees for a player to be named or cash. Lillibridge had one hit in 24 at-bats before being sent down to Iowa on April 18. ... Astros RHP Edgar Gonzalez began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Gonzalez went on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain May 26. ... Houston 1B-OF Marc Krauss made his major league debut in the eighth and struck out swinging. Krauss joined the team after being promoted from Oklahoma City, where he hit .277 with nine homers and 35 RBIs. He was brought up to replace Trevor Crowe, who went on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder injury sustained Thursday. ... Bud Norris (5-7, 3.64 ERA) pitches Saturday for Houston against Travis Wood (5-6, 2.74).

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumWrigley Field, Chicago, IL
    Attendance33,119 (80.7% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:42
    Weather74 degrees, cloudy
    Wind8 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Clint Fagan, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Chris Guccione

    Research Notes keeps two reliever-specific advanced stats, Shutdowns and Meltdowns which consider how a reliever contributes or takes away from his team's chances to win in a specific outing. In short, if a player increases his team's win probability by 6%, he is credited with a Shutdown. If a player makes his team 6% more likely to lose, he gets a Meltdown. Tonight, Gregg added 14.5% to the Cubs' win probability, earning his 12th Shutdown without a single Meltdown. Edward Mujica (19) is the only pitcher in MLB with more Shutdowns and 0 Meltdowns. He could pitch later tonight.

    ESPN Stats & Information