Sean Marshall held on in the ninth for his fifth save.
Clint Barmes‘ one-out double put runners on second and third, then Marshall intentionally walked J.D. Martinez to load the bases. But Jose Altuve struck out and pinch-hitter Humberto Quintero grounded out to end the game.
“(Lopez) hit his spots,” Barmes said. “He attacked the zone and threw the ball pretty well. Nothing surprising. He didn’t miss very many pitches over the heart of the plate and that made him effective today.”
Astros starter Henry Sosa (2-5) recovered from first-inning control problems to throw six innings, holding Chicago to four hits and two runs with five walks and five strikeouts.
The Astros threatened in the eighth, but Kerry Wood struck out J.B. Shuck looking with runners on the corners to end the inning.
NOTES: The last six games played between the Cubs and Astros have been decided by one run. … Starlin Castro doubled to lead off the fifth. He’s reached base in 30 straight games, the most by a Cubs shortstop since Ernie Banks in 1960. … Quade gave CF Marlon Byrd the day off. As he continues to mix and match between the veterans and young players on his expanded September roster, Quade said 3B Aramis Ramirez would likely get Sunday’s game off. … Altuve did not start and later entered as a pinch-runner. Astros manager Brad Mills noted that the second baseman was “going through a rough time.” Altuve was hitting .125 over his last 11 games and has drawn just four walks in 200 plate appearances since coming the big leagues. … Ryan Dempster will make his 32nd start of the season for the Cubs in Sunday’s series finale and will attempt break a personal four-game losing streak. He’ll face Houston’s Brett Myers, who has a 1.19 ERA in 22 2-3 innings over his last
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