Marlon Byrd drove in the winning run with an infield single in the bottom of the 12th inning to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the visiting Houston Astros on Friday afternoon.
The Astros brought in David Carpenter (0-3) to pitch the 12th and the righthander walked Starlin Castro to lead off the frame. A sacrifice moved Castro to second and Houston intentionally walked Aramis Ramirez. Carpenter unraveled after that, unleashing a wild pitch and walking Reed Johnson before surrendering Byrd’s soft single.
Jeff Samardzija (7-4) earned the win in relief.
Carlos Lee, who launched a solo homer in the second inning, came up with a runner on second and two outs in the ninth. The beefy slugger went down 1-2 in the count to Matt Garza before getting a pitch to drive and belting it into the first row beyond the netting in left field, knotting the game at 3-3.
Castro had a chance to win it for the Cubs in the bottom of the frame with a runner on third, but Fernando Rodriguez came on and struck out the National League hits leader on three pitches.
The Astros (51-99) moved within one setback of their first 100-loss season.