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Apr 25, 2024 5:28 pm

Rookie HR drives Cubs sweep of Astros; Chicago now MLB-best 10-3 at home

Pete Crow-Armstrong

Pete Crow-Armstrong slugged a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth and his first MLB hit lifted the Chicago Cubs to a 3-1 win and series sweep over the Houston Astros on Thursday.

With the game tied at 1, Bryan Abreu entered the game out of the Houston bullpen to oppose the Cubs’ top prospect.

Crow-Armstrong greeted him with a deep fly to right to give Chicago the a two-run advantage and saddle Houston’s Rafael Montero with his first loss of the season.

Recalled on Wednesday with Cody Bellinger placed on the injured list, Crow-Armstrong was hitless in his first 16 MLB at-bats before digging in against Abreu. He provided the needed jolt for a Chicago offense that went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position Thursday.

Right-hander Justin Verlander started for Houston and got one out in the fifth before exiting the game. Verlander allowed three hits — all to Nico Hoerner.

The veteran had to work through trouble due to control issues. He walked four batters but managed to escape, including in the first inning when the Cubs loaded the bases with nobody out.

Houston took the lead in the top of the first when Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman had back-to-back singles and Yordan Alvarez drove in Altuve with a sacrifice fly. The base hit was the 1,000th career hit for Bregman.

Cubs starter Javier Assad outlasted Verlander and pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and one run with five strikeouts. Hayden Wesneski (2-0) came on and twirled 2 1/3 perfect innings in relief and former Astros reliever Hector Neris came on for the save in the ninth with some fireworks between frames.

The Cubs’ right-hander walked Alvarez and Kyle Tucker on 19 total pitches to start the inning, but quickly recovered by forcing three consecutive groundouts to pick up his third save this season.

Astros manager Joe Espada was ejected before Houston came to bat in the ninth for arguing with home plate umpire Jansen Visconti.

–Field Level Media

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