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The Cubs have finally won three games in a row this season! The seemingly easy task over the course of a 162 game season was accomplished by a sweep of the visiting Astros over the weekend. Houston may have a worse record than the Cubs, but it was this very Astros team that swept the Cubs at Wrigley Field at the end of May that really got the Cubs season tumbling down into rock bottom through June.

The home team made fairly easy work of the division rivals in the first two games behind good starting pitching from Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wells on Friday and Saturday respectively. It was especially good to see Wells collect a win as it was only his second of the 2011 season. He has yet to repeat the command and success he showed in his rookie season, but the third year pitcher was able to dance around some lead off base runners throughout the game to earn a quality start as well.

The bullpen for the Cubs was solid in the first two games as well, providing scoreless relief to back up the good outings by their starting teammates. This included two outings from Carlos Marmol that showed progress as he tries to regain his stuff and mental poise after indefinitely being removed from the closer role.

Matt Garza continued the trend of quality starting pitching in the series finale, highlighted by nine strike outs in seven innings of work. But what has been the story of his life in July, the Cubs pen blew yet another solid Garza outing. This time the culprit was Jeff Samardzija, who could not hold the 3-2 lead. He served up a two run homer to Cub killer Carlos Lee to put the visitors ahead by one.

Although it did not help Garza’s win column, thankfully for the Cubs their offense responded right away to Lee’s homer in the bottom half of the inning. Three straight singles were hit to start the inning off, with the final one hit by Alfonso Soriano to drive in Marlon Byrd. But Darwin Barney could not get a good bunt down to move both runners into scoring position, and the Cubs would go on to fail to capitalize on a chance to recapture the lead.

Even Marmol and John Grabow could not get in the way of the long awaited three game winning streak. Both veteran pitchers got themselves into jams only to wiggle out of them with no harm done. This bought the offense some time to try to push across the winning run, and the Cubs were able to do so in the extra frame with the help of Astros right fielder Hunter Pence losing a Byrd fly ball in the Wrigley sun (the same bright sun that manager Mike Quade ripped Starlin Castro on), and a pumped up Byrd found himself standing on third base with a triple.

The Astros intentionally walked two contact hitters to get to pinch hitter Jeff Baker. The veteran super utility man battled to a 3-2 count before ripping a fastball for a line drive single into left field for the walk off, game winning hit. It took almost four whole months to do it, but that earned the Cubs their first three game winning streak and sweep of a three game series in 2011.