Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Tommy Manzella knocked in two runs and Nelson Figueroa tossed six scoreless innings, as Houston blanked Chicago, 4-0, to end the season.
Figueroa (7-4), who replaced Wandy Rodriguez (back) as Houston’s starter on three days rest, gave up six hits and two walks while fanning eight for the Astros (76-86), who salvaged a win to end the three-game series to finish in fourth place in the NL Central.
Ryan Dempster (15-12) was charged with four runs — three earned — on nine hits while striking out seven and walking one for the Cubs (75-87), who placed fifth in the NL Central.
The Astros had runners on the corners and two outs in the second inning. Manzella made it 1-0 with a single, and Humberto Quintero came around on Koyie Hill’s throwing error on a ball hit by Figueroa.
Carlos Lee belted a solo homer in the third, and Manzella singled in Brett Wallace an inning later.
Fernando Abad relieved Figueroa in the seventh and recorded two outs, and Wilton Lopez bridged the gap to Brandon Lyon, who set down the side in the ninth to close out the win.
The Cubs, who went 24-13 after Mike Quade took over on an interim manager for Lou Piniella, had surrendered three of fewer runs in 15 straight road games…The Cubs went 40-41 on the road this year, while Houston went 42-39 at home…The Astros won the season series, 11-7…Chicago’s bullpen ended the year with a streak of 29 consecutive scoreless frames.