Cubs beat Astros 5-4 in Houston's NL finale

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012
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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs' misery now stretches to 104 years and the Houston Astros will depart the National League with a whimper.

Obviously there's no winner in a season finale between a pair of 100-loss teams.

Bryan LaHair homered and hit the winning single in the ninth inning, and the Cubs beat the Astros 5-4 Wednesday in Houston's final game before switching to the AL next season.

In the first series between 100-game losers in the major leagues since 1962, LaHair homered in the second and broke a 4-all tie in the ninth against Hector Ambriz (1-1).

"I was pretty psyched up about today's game," LaHair said of his rare start. "I talked to my grandma last night and I wanted to get one more (home run) for her. Luckily, I did. It was a good feeling right there."

The 29-year-old LaHair held down the starting first base job through much of the first half after spending most of the previous nine seasons in the minors. His story reached its peak when LaHair was selected to the NL All-Star team, but his playing time dropped drastically once prospect Anthony Rizzo was called up in late June.

"To go through the adversity he's had to go through after having a great start, the All-Star game, then obviously losing a lot of playing time, it was a great finish to his year," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "The best way you can finish a season is be at home and have a walk-off win."

The Cubs, who last won a World Series in 1908, went 61-101 for their most losses since dropping 103 games in 1966.

"A lot of hard work was put in this year," LaHair said. "Unfortunately, the record didn't say that, but just to finish the season with a win, it's always fun to do that."

Carlos Marmol (3-3) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win.

Cubs starter Travis Wood allowed one run, three hits and five walks in 6 1-3 innings, giving up Carlos Corporan's RBI single in the first. Wood also chased Astros starter Edgar Gonzalez with a two-run single.

Houston went 55-107 and set a club record for losses with one more than last year. The Astros became the first team with 106 or more losses in consecutive seasons since the 1964-65 New York Mets.