(Sports Network) - Fiery right-hander Carlos Zambrano aims to round out a tumultuous season with an eight-decision win streak tonight, when the Chicago Cubs visit Minute Maid Park for the middle game of a three-game series with the Houston Astros.
The Cubs won Friday's opener, 2-0, when Casey Coleman (4-2) threw seven shutout innings and gave up just six hits and a walk with two strikeouts and drove in a run. Welington Castillo added an RBI for the Cubs, who have won four of their last five.
Zambrano, a 29-year-old Venezuelan who spent part of the year on a team suspension and also endured a demotion to the bullpen, was 3-6 on the year after a 6-0 loss to the crosstown Chicago White Sox in an interleague game on June 25.
He's won seven straight decisions since, beginning with a 3-2 victory at St. Louis on Aug. 14 and continuing through a 1-0 blanking of San Diego in his most recent start on Monday.
The Cubs are 7-2 in Zambrano's last nine starts in which he's dropped his earned run average from 5.46 to 3.36. He's allowed just one earned run in his last four starts, covering 27 2/3 innings.
A 3-1 loser in his last meeting with the Astros, Zambrano is 13-8 against them in his career with a 2.63 ERA in 192 innings.
For Houston, lanky lefty J.A. Happ tries to snap a four-game winless streak to complete his season.
A 12-game winner with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009, Happ was 1-0 in three starts with the defending National League champions this season before heading to Houston in a deal that sent veteran ace Roy Oswalt to the Phillies in late July.
He was 5-2 in his initial eight starts with his new team but has not won since a 3-2 defeat of Arizona on Sept. 5.
In four starts since, he's allowed 21 hits and eight runs in 21 1/3 innings while the Astros have been outscored, 29-15.
Houston is 10-6 against the Cubs this season.