HOUSTON -- In a tight game against a first-place team, Collin McHugh didnt worry about giving the ball to the Houston Astros bullpen.McHugh combined with four relievers on a two-hitter, rookie Alex Bregman homered and the Astros beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 Saturday to remain 2 1/2 games back in the race for the ALs second wild card.Theyve all been lights out for about the last year-and-a-half, two years, McHugh said of his bullpen. I feel as confident as anyone giving them the ball with the lead.Marwin Gonzalez drove in a run with a third-inning squeeze bunt for the Astros, who trail Baltimore by 2 1/2 games and Detroit and the New York Yankees by 1 1/2.Bregman put the Astros ahead with an opposite-field home run to right-center against John Lackey (9-8) in a two-run third.Hes been remarkable, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. Weve been playing these playoff-type caliber games for a few weeks now, and hes not showing any signs of this being his first time.After starting 1 for 34 following his July 25 callup, Bregman has eight home runs -- all since Aug. 16. He went 2 for 4 and raised his average to .274 with 31 RBI.Im just trying to square the ball up, Bregman said. Baseball is such a game of ups and downs, and youve just got to stay even through the whole time.McHugh (10-10) won his third straight decision, allowing one run and two hits in five innings. Chris Devenski, Will Harris, Luke Gregerson and Ken Giles combined for hitless relief.Their pitchers were really good today. Give them credit, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. They were very good at hitting their spots and had good stuff.McHugh spoke with Hinch about the decision on a quick hook.He said, `Hey, were going to do this like a playoff game, and were going to get a win here, the pitcher recalled. And thats exactly what happened.Ken Giles survived a shaky ninth to earn his 10th save. He walked Anthony Rizzo leading off, and pinch-runner Matt Szczur advanced on a wild pitch. Jorge Soler struck out and Szczur crossed to third on Miguel Monteros groundout. Giles then struck out Willson Contreras.Lackey gave up two runs, four hits and three walks in six innings for the NL Central leaders, who are 90-51. He had been 2-0 in four starts since a July 23 loss at Milwaukee.I definitely havent had much luck with the wins and losses this year, Lackey said.Jose Altuve, in an 0-for-12 slide, followed Bregmans homer by reaching on his second bunt single of the season, beating third baseman Kris Bryants throw.Yulieski Gurriel singled him to third, and Gonzalez bunted to third as Altuve scored.Two bunts, Lackey said, youd like for that not to cause you a game.Contreras fourth-inning sacrifice fly scored Soler, who beat the offline throw from right fielder George Springer.Houston could have extended the lead in the seventh, but Springer was thrown out at the plate by when he tried to score from first on Bregmans bloop single to right center.Right fielder Jason Heyward threw to shortstop Javier Baez, who relayed to Contreras for the tag. The call by plate umpire Mark Carlson was upheld in a video review.Im always confident that he is going to score from first base, Bregman said. I saw the bobble and thought there was a chance. It was worth taking a shot right there.PEACOCK GETS NODHouston plans to starts RHPs Doug Fister, Brad Peacock and Joe Musgrove in next weeks series against Texas.Peacock was recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday alongside RHP David Paulino, who lost to Cleveland in his major league debut Thursday.I think Peacock gives us the best chance to get into the game with a little more ease, Hinch said. His pitch repertoire is a little more suited and an advantage over the Rangers over Paulino.DELAYThe game was delayed several minutes between the second and third innings because of a medical emergency involving a fan in the stands near the Houston bench. First responders could be seen tending to the fan, and the Astros said the fan was taken to a hospital.TRAINERS ROOMAstros: SS Carlos Correa missed his fourth straight game with inflammation in his left shoulder and remains day to day. Hinch said Correa continued to experience soreness, and that the early start time following a night game didnt allow proper time for prep work. Every time we want to put him in there were going to risk the next three or four days, Hinch said. So we have to be very strategic about we map this out. ... Hinch said the team believes Altuve is battling a 24-hour stomach illness and the infielder told him after the game he would be good to play Sunday. Altuve vomited several times before and during the game, Hinch said. ... Altuve, bothered by a stomach ailment, was replaced in the eighth by Tony Kemp.UP NEXTRHP Mike Fiers (10-6) looks to improve to 4-1 in his career against the Cubs when he starts Sundays series finale. Chicago starts RHP Jake Arrieta (16-6), who is 10-2 in 13 road starts this season. He will face Houston for the first time.NMD R2 Australia . Still, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke thought taking him out before the fifth inning was an unusual move. "Im looking up at the board and hes got two hits given up and one run, and Im taking him out after the fourth inning," Roenicke said. NMD Human Race Australia . World champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia won the gold medal with 237.71 points, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch followed at 208.45 and Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia were third at 187. http://www.nmdaustraliasale.com/ . Bjorn, who had a 36-hole total of 8-under 134, made a testing six-foot putt to save par on the 16th and a birdie on the 17th before bogeying the final hole after a misjudged approach shot. American Kevin Streelman was in second place after shooting a 69. NMD R1 Mens Australia .5 seconds to play in the game, Kevin Love never stopped believing that they would come out of there with a win. NMD_R1 Shoes Australia . -- Ryan Blaney provided more evidence that Penske Racings No.Matt Duchenes World Cup dream was nearly over before it started.A routine play during practice with Team Canada on Sept. 13 in Pittsburgh nearly sent Duchene home from the World Cup of Hockey. Instead, the way he rallied should serve as inspiration to kids everywhere.When you want something badly enough, when your passion is that high, you can find ways to fight through pain and adversity.It was the last drill in practice the day before the Russia game, Duchene told ESPN.com. We were just doing a 2-on-2 battle drill. I barely got bumped. The puck got cycled back to me behind the net, and I think it was Shea Weber who bumped me. But he barely bumped me, he kind of just pinned me. And just the way I went in, my shoulder pad slid, I think. And I hit my AC joint right on the divider in the glass. Immediately I felt a shock of pain.He sat on the bench for a moment, had the trainer look at it, then went out for one last drill.It was worse.It was like a shock, Duchene said. I was sick to my stomach and my arm was numb. It was very painful. I was devastated. I couldnt believe it.It was a separated shoulder, just four days before Canadas World Cup opener in Toronto. This cannot be happening, Duchene thought to himself.It was a huge honor to make that team. Its something Id worked toward for a couple of years, said the 25-year-old native of Haliburton, Ontario. I remember sitting on the training table. I could barely move my arm, and I was fighting back tears because I was so upset.Thats when the team doctor told him they would look at it the next day but that they might have to make a tough decision.Immediately I could feel myself welling up a little bit, Duchene said. I said to him, As long as this thing wont get worse and I cant hurt it any more, theres no way you guys are sending me home. Ill do whatever it takes to be able to play. Whatever we need to do. I know I can fight through it. I worked too hard to be here. I was trrying not to cry while I was saying this.dddddddddddd.Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic was kept apprised, Duchene said. The shoulder improved each day, to the point where, with a little work from the trainers before each game, Duchene could get on the ice. He could play through the pain while not risking further injury because of extra padding.They did such a great job with me, just getting me ready every day, Duchene said of Team Canadas medical and training staff. By the time the Czech Republic game rolled around, I had it taped up pretty good. I had it really padded for most of the tournament just to protect it. I felt so lucky, like I made the team all over again. Because I was scared after the pain I felt that first day and wasnt sure what was going to happen.It was sore, to be sure, but didnt affect his play, Duchene said.I would tweak it five or six times a game, but its something I could battle through and it didnt really take away from how I felt, he said. So was I able to play at 100 percent throughout the tournament. I wasnt restricted, especially once I got it warmed up.You certainly couldnt tell anything was wrong on Sept. 20 when Duchene scored twice to lead Team Canada past Team USA 4-2 in a huge win.That was very special, Duchene said. I kind of knew where my family was sitting and I scored both goals in front of them. That was a surreal moment in my career. Its something Ill never forget.As he celebrated a World Cup championship with his Canadian teammates last Thursday night, he couldnt help but wonder, What if?Had I been sitting at home Thursday night watching the game, I would been happy for the guys but I would have been devastated that I wasnt a part of it with them, given that I was already there, he said.Instead, he headed back to Denver with the memory of a lifetime. ' ' '