7/24 Extra bases – post-game edition

Finally. The Cubs finally posted a three-game win streak with a 5-4, 10-inning win Sunday over the Astros to sweep the series. It’s their first

“What a way to do it,” Mike Quade said. “You knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

Marlon Byrd tripled and scored on pinch-hitter Jeff Baker’s single with one out for the game-winner. Matt Garza deserved the win, but didn’t get it. He gave up two runs on five hits and departed after seven innings with a 3-2 lead. This was the sixth time he’s left a game with the lead but did not factor in the decision.

“We won a ballgame because he gave us seven great innings,” Quade said.

“Every time you contribute it’s a plus,” Garza said.

Cubs starters posted seven quality starts in the 10-game homestand, and a 1.32 ERA in those games.

The reason Garza didn’t get the decision was Carlos Lee’s two-run homer in the eighth off Jeff Samardzija. The home run didn’t bother Samardzija as much as the walk to Hunter Pence to set up Lee’s blast.

“What Lee did is what he gets paid to do, hit home runs, but Pence, you have to make him put the ball in play, and that way if Lee does hit one, it’s just a one-run home run,” Samardzija said.

Samardijza had not given up a run in 12 straight outings prior to Sunday.

“You’re asking a guy to pitch three days in a row and it’s a lot,” Quade said of Samardzija.

* The Cubs were a little short-handed. Koyie Hill and Reed Johnson weren’t available; neither was feeling well. Both Sean Marshall and Kerry Wood were not available either but both did volunteer to pitch if needed. Wood had warmed up a few times in the last few days.

“News flash. Sometimes guys need a day here and there,” Wood said. “Nothing new. I pitched a lot in the pen.”

* The Cubs notched the three-game win streak in their 102nd game of the year. Only once in team history has it gone longer into a season without winning three in a row. In 1966, the Cubs picked up their first three-game win streak Aug. 4-6 in games No. 106-108. Six previous times that year, the Cubs had won two straight only to lose the third.

The only other time the Cubs ended the month of July without a three-game win streak was in 1960. That year, the Cubs won three in a row for the first time July 30-Aug. 2 in games No. 95-97. Thanks to Cubs historian Ed Hartig for the info.

“It took a while but we finally got it done,” Byrd said of the three-game streak.

* Byrd was playing in his 1,000th game, and went 4-for-5 with three runs, a double and a triple. He’s hitting .359 with three walks, 10 runs, four doubles, a triple, two homers and four RBIs in 17 games since July 4. The four hits were a season high, and the first time he’s done that since July 9, 2010, against the Dodgers.

* The Cubs are 6-3 in extra-inning games, including a 5-0 mark at home.

— Carrie Muskat


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