(Sports Network) - Streaking right-hander Jordan Lyles goes for an eighth
straight start without a loss on Sunday when the Houston Astros return to
Wrigley Field to close out a three-game interleague series with the Chicago
Lyles split his initial two decisions of the season across his first three
starts but has since gone 3-0 in seven appearances while watching his earned
run average plummet from 8.36 to 3.22.
He's allowed two runs or less in each of the seven unbeaten starts, including
one run on seven hits in seven innings of a 10-1 downing of the Milwaukee
Brewers in a June 18 outing.
He's allowed just nine runs in those seven games, which have covered 44 2/3
innings and seen him strike out 33 batters.
Lyles is 1-0 in three lifetime starts against the Cubs with a 2.50 ERA across
He's opposed by Chicago righty Jeff Samardzija, who's won three of five
decisions since opening the season at 1-5.
He's thrown at least eight innings in each of the victories, including a 4-2
defeat of the St. Louis Cardinals in which he went 8 1/3 innings and allowed
two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
One victory earlier, Samardzija went the distance and allowed two hits while
defeating the crosstown Chicago White Sox, 7-0, on May 27.
Samardzija is 3-2 with a blown save and three holds in 17 career meetings with
Houston, while posting a 3.60 ERA in 30 full innings.
On Saturday, Ronny Cedeno bunted home the winning run in the ninth inning to
lift the Astros past the Cubs, 4-3.
Earlier in the frame, Justin Maxwell connected on a line drive double to left
off Kevin Gregg (2-1) and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Matt
Dominguez. Cedeno then pushed a perfect bunt up the first-base line to put the
Astros on top.
In the home half of the eighth, the calls didn't go the Cubs' way.
Alfonso Soriano doubled and Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked with one
out. Soriano was picked off by Jose Cisnero (2-0) at second on a controversial
call which was followed by a Ryan Sweeney single that could have possibly
scored Soriano. Welington Castillo was walked to load the bases. Darwin Barney
had a 3-1 count and took what appeared to be ball four before flying out two
Jose Veras threw a 1-2-3 ninth to collect his 15th save of the year.
J.D. Martinez had a three-run homer for the Astros, who have won seven of
their last 10 games.
Bud Norris yielded three runs -- two earned -- on six hits while walking three
in six effective innings of work for Houston.
The Cubs won eight of 15 games with the Astros in 2012, Houston's final season
in the National League.
The Sports Network