Just when you think the Astros are going to step up, they take a step backwards and they had plenty of opportunities to win this one.
The Astros loaded the bases twice with no outs in both the top of the 2nd and 3rd innings, but failed to capitalize. In the the 2nd Carlos Lee walked followed by a single from Brett Wallace and then a single by Chris Johnson. Next came Clint Barmes who grounded into a double play with Lee scoring. Humberto Quintero then grounded out to end the inning.
In the 3rd Bud Norris singled followed by a Michael Bourn single and Jose Altuve reaching base via the hit by pitch (welcome to the big leagues). The next three batters (Pence, Lee and Wallace) all flew out without the man at third scoring. The first fly out was a line drive to Alfonso Soriano that caught Norris halfway down the line and unable to tag up and Lee's fly out wasn't deep enough.
The other run scored via a single by Bourn in the top of the 4th that scored Barmes.
Carlos Zambrano then settled in to go 6 innings, walking 1, striking out 3 and 9 hits (all singles) allowing a total of 2 earned runs. The bullpen then came in and shut down the Astros for the remaining 9 outs.
On the Astros side Bud Norris went 6.1 innings striking out 5, walking 0 and allowing 9 hits for a total of 4 earned runs. All 4 runs came in the 5th inning 3 of which were due to some defensive miscues. Alfonso Soriano's lead off the inning with a homerun. After a dropped out in shallow right field by Jose Altuve, that was scored a single off the bat of Darwin Barney, the Astros misplayed a bunt laid down by Zambrano that put two on with no outs. With one out in the inning Barney stole third and scored on a sac fly by Starlin Castro. The next batter Aramis Ramirez homered to put the Cubs ahead for good.
Not a great day for the Astros, but there's always tomorrow. I guess.