Series: Game 1 of 3

Chicago leads 1-0 (as of 4/9)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 9
New York 0Final
Chicago 2
Game 2: Wednesday, April 10
New York 3Final
Chicago 2
Game 3: Thursday, April 11
New York 3Final
Chicago 2

Mets 0

(3-4, 2-2 away)

Cubs 2

(2-4, 1-2 home)

    2:20 PM ET, April 9, 2002

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

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    CHC 00001010 - 2 6 0

    W: J. Lieber (1-0)

    L: S. Trachsel (0-2)

    S: A. Alfonseca (1)

    Lieber, Cubs hold Mets to two hits

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Jon Lieber, pitching on seven days' rest, looked a lot like the guy who won 20 games last season for the Chicago Cubs.

    Sammy Sosa

    Sammy Sosa slides home before Mike Piazza can make a tag to score one of the Cubs' two runs on Tuesday.

    Lieber allowed two hits over eight innings and the Cubs scored more than one run for the first time in four games in a 2-0 victory Tuesday over the New York Mets.

    He had not pitched since April 1, Opening Day, because of scheduled off days and a rainout, yet Lieber allowed only one runner to reach second base.

    "Same Lieber as always," Cubs catcher Joe Girardi said. "He worked fast and got his defense off the field. That's why we love playing for him."

    Lieber, who walked two and struck out seven in throwing 106 pitches, didn't think his outing was flawless.

    "I felt like it took a little bit," Lieber said. "I didn't feel I had my command until around the third or fourth inning."

    After the third, Lieber allowed only a sixth-inning walk to Roberto Alomar.

    "We really couldn't get to him," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "We just couldn't get guys on."

    Antonio Alfonseca pitched the ninth for his first save, even though Lieber (1-0) had five complete games in 2001, when he went 20-5 for the Cubs.

    "They didn't hit a ball hard all day," Cubs manager Don Baylor said, "but when Lieber had 80 pitches in the sixth, I knew Alfonseca was going to close the game."

    Corey Patterson and Augie Ojeda had RBI for the Cubs, who left 15 men on base.

    The Cubs loaded the bases in the first, left two on in the second, had a runner thrown out at home in the third, and could not score until the fifth.

    Delino DeShields led off with a single and scored on Patterson's RBI double to left. On the play, outfielder Roger Cedeno bobbled and kicked the ball -- and overthrew the cutoff man -- but no error was charged.

    Patterson said the Cubs had to wait out Steve Trachsel (0-2), who has a reputation for throwing a lot of pitches -- and doing it slowly.

    "We had to be patient because he's a nibbler," said Patterson, who went 2-for-4 with a walk. "We waited for him to get the ball up or out over the plate."

    With two outs in the sixth, Trachsel allowed a pair of sharp two-out singles to Lieber and DeShields. Mark Guthrie replaced Trachsel, and got Patterson to ground out, giving the Cubs 10 stranded runners through six. They left five more runners in their last two times up.

    "We had some opportunities to break the game open," Baylor said.

    Trachsel allowed a run on seven hits and three walks -- one intentional -- over 5 2-3 innings. He struck out two.

    Kane Davis walked Sammy Sosa and Fred McGriff to start the seventh, and Alex Gonzalez bunted and reached to load the bases after Davis threw late to third trying to force Sosa. Ojeda followed with a sacrifice fly to right for a 2-0 lead.

    "A 2-0 lead is a pot o' gold," Baylor said. "

    Game notes

    Cedeno snuffed out a Chicago scoring chance in the third when he made a one-hop throw home to get McGriff -- who had reached second thanks to Cedeno's two-base error. ... On the 43-degree day, Trachsel threw 103 pitches, 59 for strikes. ... Paid attendance was 18,151, but approximately one-quarter of that many showed. ... New Bradley men's basketball coach Jim Les sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." ... Mets shortstop Rey Ordonez -- who has a sore left wrist -- made two errors, giving him four for the season. "We have to play good defense," Valentine said. "You can't extend these innings as much as we have."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press