Astros 6, Cubs 5
Mired in their longest losing streak of the year, the Houston Astros were searching for a boost in this miserable season.
They found it on Tuesday night, with pinch hitter Brian Bogusevic hitting his first career grand slam in the ninth inning to propel them to 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs to break a seven game losing skid.
''It's good for us,'' Bogusevic said. ''We've been struggling a little bit. One of the good parts about being young is you're not going to give up. We're going to fight all nine innings and it doesn't matter if we're down one run or 10 runs, we're going to keep going.''
J.B. Shuck singled with one out in the ninth off closer Carlos Marmol (2-4) before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Clint Barmes singled and Matt Downs drew a walk to load the bases and bring up Bogusevic.
''When you're not sharp sometimes you get beat,'' Chicago manager Mike Quade said referring to Marmol. ''His slider wasn't as good as it usually is, and his fastball command left him.''
Bogusevic, who called the hit a ''thrill,'' sped around the bases at first because he wasn't sure he'd hit it out.
''I was (running fast) because I know that I'm the winning run and if it doesn't get out, I've got to get myself into scoring position somewhere,'' he said. ''After I saw it land, I kind of slowed down a little bit to maybe soak it in a little bit.''
Houston reliever Aneury Rodriguez (1-4) struck out one in 2-3 innings for his first career win.
Astros' manager Brad Mills was excited to see two of his young players come through in the victory.
''(Bogusevic) really did a good job,'' Mills said. ''That was just tremendous and I'm so thrilled for him and thrilled for Aneury Rodriguez to get his first win. Those things are cool.''
Kerry Wood pitched a scoreless eighth before Marmol blew his eighth save, which snapped a streak of nine straight saves for him.
''Bad day, you know,'' Marmol said. ''I've been pitching good. Hopefully that continues tomorrow and (I) forget about today.''
Tyler Colvin hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning and Aramis Ramirez added a solo shot in the eighth as the Cubs built a 5-2 lead. Colvin, who has spent time in Triple-A this season and is hitting just .135, has homered three times in the last 13 games, including Tuesday's blast that landed in the second deck in right field.
Houston starter Brett Myers yielded six hits and four runs in seven innings and hasn't won since June 17.
''First inning I was struggling to get my rhythm,'' Myers said. ''Sixth inning, just one pitch cost me two runs. But that ninth inning made up for everything. I don't even feel like I pitched tonight,''
Chicago starter Ryan Dempster allowed four hits and two runs in seven innings before being replaced by Wood.
Jimmy Paredes had two doubles and drove in a run for the Astros.
Ramirez's 22nd homer came off reliever Wilton Lopez in the eighth inning and pushed the lead to 5-2.
Starlin Castro hit a leadoff single followed by a single by Darwin Barney. Ramirez hit the third single of the inning to score Castro and give Chicago a 1-0 lead. Carlos Pena walked before Marlon Byrd grounded into a double play and Barney scored to make it 2-0.
Jason Bourgeois drew a walk with no outs in the first for Houston before Carlos Lee walked with two outs. The double by Paredes, which landed in the corner of left field, scored Bourgeois, but Lee was out at home to leave it at 2-1.
Ramirez reached on an error by Clint Barmes and Pena walked in the third inning, but Myers didn't allow another hit after the three first-inning singles until Barney singled with two outs in the fifth inning. Ramirez grounded into a force out to end that inning, before Pena doubled to start the sixth.
Then came Colvin's two-out homer that scored Pena and pushed Chicago's lead to 4-1.
Shuck doubled in the seventh inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Humberto Quintero to make it 4-2.
NOTES: Houston OF Jordan Schafer, on the DL since July 20 with an injured left middle finger, was cleared to start a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday. If his rehabilitation goes well, he could join Houston on Monday in Colorado. Schafer was acquired from Atlanta in the Michael Bourn trade. ... Bud Norris starts for Houston in Wednesday's finale against Chicago's Casey Coleman. ... Norris didn't allow a run in seven innings in his last start, but did not factor in the decision. ... Coleman was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to replace Carlos Zambrano in the rotation. Coleman is 2-4 with a 7.23 ERA in 11 games this season for Chicago.
Kristie Rieken can be reached at http://twitter.com/kristieAP.