Estes (5-3) allowed two runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. The Cubs starter struck out three, walked one and improved to 4-0 with a 3.06 ERA in five starts this month.
Estes became the first Cubs lefthander to win four consecutive decisions since
accomplished the feat during the 1997 season.
"My back has felt better, that's the initial reason why I got going," Estes said. "Now I'm getting more confidence. Now it's a team thing where the hitters have confidence in the pitcher and they can be more relaxed at the plate."
Gonzalez and Patterson's RBI doubles in the seventh opened a 3-0 cushion for the Cubs.
remains on the disabled list, Patterson continues to sizzle at the plate. He is batting .343 (37-for-108) with seven homers, 25 RBI and 17 runs scored in his last 27 contests.
"You can't replace a
. He's a great player and we need him," Patterson said. "But we've done well without him because everybody's picking each other up. It's not always going to be me. That's the key for this team, to keep picking each other up."
The Astros battled back in the bottom of the seventh with three straight singles to load the bases with none out. Pinch hitter
stroked a ground-rules double, slicing Houston's deficit to 3-2 and chasing Estes.
"I was fired up when I went in, that's what you live for," Remlinger said. "There's no margin for error. I tried to make pitches early in the count to get ahead and then make them chase something. You've got to maintain the same intensity throughout."
"It was a fastball inside," Remlinger said. "Earlier in the game, I saw him taking pitches to right field. So I didn't want to give him anything where he could do that. It was a good time to try that pitch inside and it worked out."
"The bullpen did a great job," Cubs manager
said. "Remlinger was awesome. He got the strikeouts and got out of the inning without any more runs scoring. He preserved the win."
"This was definitely a team effort," Estes said. "It was one of the best jobs I've seen from a bullpen. I put us in a hole and Remlinger came in a shut the door. It was pretty impressive."
The Cubs improved to 7-5 with one game left on their season-high 13-game, 14-day road trip. Chicago posted seven victories on a road swing for the first time since July 9-21, 1998.
(3-4) took the loss, yielding three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.
"Both sides pitched well," said Astros manager
, who returned after missing Friday's game to attend his daughter's high school graduation in Florida. "We had our chances in the seventh, but Remlinger came in and shut the door. You have to tip your cap to him and Estes."
The Astros lost for just the fourth time in 14 games.