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Preview: Astros (67-85) at Cubs (68-84)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 2
Venue: Wrigley Field
Date: October 02, 2012 8:05 PM EDT
  

The Houston Astros sent the Chicago Cubs to a dubious milestone during the opener of their final series as an NL team.

In the first matchup between 100-loss clubs in 50 years, Chicago will try to return the favor Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs have experienced a bevy of difficult seasons over their history but had dropped 100 or more games only twice before Monday night.

A 3-0 defeat to Houston gave them triple-digit defeats for the first time since 1966. The Cubs (60-100) had only two hits during their 12th loss in 14 games.

"There was a little bit of sleepwalking at the plate. Are guys ready to get out of here? I don't know. I won't put words in anybody's mouth," manager Dale Sveum said. "We didn't take out at_bats like we wanted to stick around."

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Tuesday's game will be the first featuring teams with 100 or more losses since the Cubs sent the New York Mets to their 120th defeat Sept. 30, 1962.

The Astros avoided a record-setting defeat Monday as Fernando Martinez hit his third homer in as many contests.

Houston (54-106) has already tied its franchise-record loss total from a year ago. Bud Norris will try to keep the Astros from surpassing that mark and lead them to their first three-game win streak since May 21-25, a four-game run that included a home sweep of Chicago.

Norris (6-13, 4.82 ERA) ended an 18-start winless stretch Wednesday, allowing two hits to St. Louis over a season-high 7 1-3 innings and striking out seven in a 2-0 victory. The right-hander is arbitration eligible this offseason and there's a chance he might not make the move with his teammates to the AL West in 2013.

"I've seen a lot in three years here, a lot of trades, a lot of moves, new owners, new manager, new bench coaches, coaches all over," he said. "There's only been a couple of guys in this locker room that have been here this long with me. We've been through a lot. We've seen a lot at a young age (and) learned to deal with adversity."

Norris had dropped 12 straight decisions following an 8-4 home win over Chicago on May 21, and two of those losses came at Wrigley Field. He gave up six runs over 3 1-3 innings during the latest of those outings Aug. 15.

Norris, who has lost each of his three career starts in Chicago, will pitch opposite Chris Volstad (3-11, 6.64).

Volstad is 0-1 with an 11.37 ERA in three starts since winning at Houston on Sept. 10, and he was tagged for a season-high seven runs over three innings in a 7-5 defeat in Colorado on Thursday.

Volstad is 3-1 with a 4.09 ERA in his last four starts against the Astros and has split two this season.

Martinez is 2 for 7 with a double against the right-hander and 6 for 11 in his last four games against Chicago.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Astros at Cubs
Mon, Oct 1 Final 3 to 0
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Astros at Cubs
Tue, Oct 2 Final 3 to 0
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Astros at Cubs
Wed, Oct 3 Final 4 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 HOU         
 CHC         
BT MOVEMENTS

 
 
  
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