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9/26/12: Norris fans seven in 7 1/3 innings of work

The Cubs' quest to avoid a 100-loss season ended on Monday with a 3-0 loss to the Astros.

With two more victories at Wrigley Field, the Astros can avoid some statistical infamy of their own -- a club record for losses.

Houston, which lost 106 games in 2011, sends right-hander Bud Norris to the mound on Tuesday for his final start of the season.

Norris snapped a personal 12-game losing streak on Wednesday, holding St. Louis to two hits in a season-high 7 1/3 scoreless innings. In his previous 18 starts, he was 0-12 with a 6.17 ERA.

"I'm just going to go out there and do what I've been doing and keep pitching," Norris said. "I had a good one my last one and I just want to carry over the momentum for the next one."

Norris has been dealing with a blister problem and scalp irritation in recent weeks. He hopes to get the blister situation under control in the offseason.

"I found some other remedies I'm going to try and give that a shot and hopefully that works out for me," Norris said.

Chris Volstad, the Cubs starter for Tuesday, will be looking to rebound from a poor outing. He gave up seven runs on 10 hits over three innings against the Rockies.

"Every start is important," Volstad said. "Obviously, you want to end on a good note. I'll take it just the way I've taken the other ones. You always want to end on a positive note and something to build off for next season."

The Cubs will finish with at least 100 losses for the first time since 1966.

Astros: Luhnow holds season-ending interviews
Before Monday's game against the Cubs, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow met with 12 players in the first of three days of season-ending interviews.

"It's an exhausting process, but it's very worthwhile," Luhnow said. "It's a good opportunity for them to kind of recap the year and for me to give them my perspective and hear what their goals are for the season going forward. It's been good."

The players got a chance to talk about their performance in 2012 and where they stand going into the offseason.

"I learned something from every single one of them," Luhnow said. "That's important. I learned a lot about what's going in the clubhouse and how everybody is feeling and whether or not people are planning to play this offseason or what their goals are for next year."

Cubs: Barring injury, Castro to play in all 162 games
Starlin Castro played his 160th game at shortstop on Monday, tying the single-season franchise mark set by Ivan DeJesus in both 1978 and 1979.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum plans to write Castro's name on the lineup card on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Castro would be the first player in franchise history to play in all 162 games at shortstop.

"At this point now, you get your rest during the winter," Sveum said. "At this point, there's no reason to rest anybody for any reason."

If Castro starts on Tuesday and Wednesday, he would be the first Cubs infielder to make 161 starts at a single position since Bill Buckner at first base in 1982. The last Cubs infielder to appear in all 162 games was Ron Santo in 1968.

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