with a home run in the 2005 World Series when he played for the
Chicago White Sox
Now, he's delivered game-winning hits for the Astros on consecutive days.
Blum singled to down the right-field line off
in the 13th inning on Thursday to score
and lift the Astros to a 2-1 win over the
On Wednesday, Blum singled with the bases loaded in the ninth to lift Houston to another 2-1 victory over the Cubs.
The third baseman is the first Houston player with winning hits in back-to-back games since
did it on July 20-21, 1996, against Atlanta.
''I'm not sure the technical term, but deja vu is something that happens over and over,'' Blum said. ''Right now, it happened
twice. It feels good. It's just nice to win.''
homered for the Cubs with one out in the ninth, but the Cubs mustered only six hits and stranded eight runners.
Chicago scored three runs or fewer for the eighth time in 12 games and frustrated manager
says he has not solution for his team's offensive doldrums.
''They're going to have to find it,'' he said. ''It sounds cruel, it sounds harsh, but it's reality. What am I going to do?
Just keep running them out there and hope it gets better. That's all you can do.''
Ascanio (0-1) set down the Astros in order in the 12th, then walked Pence with one out in the 13th.
struck out, with Pence stealing second on the last pitch.
Ascanio intentionally walked
, who's sitting on 299 career homers, before Blum delivered again. The Astros poured out of the dugout and mobbed Blum near
first base for the second straight night.
''That's one that makes me jump up and down,'' Houston manager
said. ''I don't usually do that. I usually stay pretty calm, but that was a great win.''
(2-1) pitched three scoreless innings. The Astros won for the eighth time in 11 games and now start a nine-game road trip,
their longest of the season.
pitched 5 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out five to preserve a 1-0 lead. Ortiz, usually a middle
reliever, was making his first start since May 7.
The Houston bullpen allowed only one walk in three innings before Lee tied it with his home run off
. Fulchino allowed only one hit after that.
''It was just an all-out bullpen effort today,'' said Ortiz.
The Astros took a 1-0 lead off
in the first inning.
opened with a double,
hit a sacrifice fly.
Ortiz allowed only two hits through the first five innings, and the Astros finished two of those innings with double plays.
Chicago had two runners aboard in the sixth. Ortiz struck out
before Houston manager
brought in reliever
, who struck out
replaced Byrdak and got Lee on a grounder.
''When we had chances, we're swinging at bad pitches out of the (strike) zone, we can't make contact,'' Piniella said. ''Come
on. This is major league baseball. I know the game isn't the easiest in the world to play, because I played it for a long
time. But it's not this hard, come on.''
led off the seventh with a drive to Tal's Hill in deep center. Bourn backtracked up the incline, fell down and made the catch
while almost lying on his back.
''I just reacted,'' Bourn said. ''My ability helped me out that time.''
Dempster allowed just five hits - two by Ortiz - between the second and seventh.
, who threw two scoreless innings to earn the win on Wednesday, relieved Arias in the eighth and retired the Cubs in order.
Hawkins started the ninth for the Astros. After Fukudome grounded out, Lee drove a 1-2 pitch into the right-field seats, his
seventh home run of the season.
NOTES: The Cubs went to extra innings for the fifth time in eight games. ... Ortiz has thrown 17 2-3 consecutive scoreless
innings, the longest stretch by an Astros pitcher this season. ... Tejada has 1,999 career hits. ... Cubs starters have thrown
at least six innings in eight straight games.