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updated: 7/23/2011 6:45 PM

Can Cubs make it three straight win on Sunday?

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  • Kosuke Fukudome hits a triple off Houston relief pitcher Sergio Escalona during the eighth inning Saturday at Wrigley Field.

      Kosuke Fukudome hits a triple off Houston relief pitcher Sergio Escalona during the eighth inning Saturday at Wrigley Field.
    Associated Press

  • Houston Astros' Michael Bourn, right, is caught stealing second by Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney during the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday.

      Houston Astros' Michael Bourn, right, is caught stealing second by Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney during the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday.
    Associated Press

  • Starlin Castro heads home, scoring off a single by Geovany Soto and throwing error by Houston Astros third baseman Chris Johnson, during the eighth inning Saturday.

      Starlin Castro heads home, scoring off a single by Geovany Soto and throwing error by Houston Astros third baseman Chris Johnson, during the eighth inning Saturday.
    Associated Press

 
 

Sure, Randy Wells was sharp in picking up his first victory since April 4.

Sure, Geovany Soto and Marlon Byrd came through with solo home runs to give the Cubs a lead they would never relinquish Saturday against the Astros in soggy, then sunny, then surprisingly comfy Wrigley Field.

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But it's what the Cubs' second straight victory over Houston -- a 5-1 decision -- means to the team. It means another win on Sunday and the North Siders will finally -- finally! -- register their first three-game winning streak of the season.

"I'd love it," manager Mike Quade said. "It'd be about time."

Indeed.

And it seems as if all the stars are properly aligned for the Cubs in their quest to join the rest of major-league baseball by picking up their third straight victory.

Not only is Quade's squad playing the Astros, who own the worst record in baseball at 33-67, but they're also going up against Jordan Lyles and his underwhelming record (0-5, 4.55 ERA) while countering with red-hot starter Matt Garza.

Suddenly, the Cubs' 0-9 mark this season while going for three straight doesn't seem quite as daunting.

"At this point it would be great," said Wells, who registered his third quality start of the season and ended a personal three-game losing streak to the Astros. "I don't think anyone is thinking of that as our immediate goal, but it's kind of a weird stat that we haven't done it yet.

"We have a great shot (Sunday) with Garz; the team's swinging the bats and playing good defense ... I think this is our best shot so far."

Even after the Cubs (41-60) built up what looked like a commanding 4-run lead with a 3-run eighth, highlighted by Kosuke Fukudome's triple and run-scoring singles by Soto and Starlin Castro, things still got a titch uncomfortable in the ninth.

That's because Carlos Marmol, back in his role as closer, opened the inning by allowing a single to Jose Altuve and then plunking Carlos Corporan to make it two-on with no outs.

The 40,486 stirred noticeably, but Marmol battled his way through and delivered a scoreless frame and also a chance for the Cubs to make a little history Sunday.

"I know three in a row -- it hasn't happened yet -- but we don't really look at it that way," said Soto, whose homer in the fifth was his first since June 30. "We're not really concerned. We just want to win some ballgames and try to get in rhythm.

"We've been on and off the whole year; we just want to get everything clicking."

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