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Biggio boo-boo gives Chicago late lead

CHICAGO (AP) -- Moises Alou is in his third season playing the
tricky left field position at Wrigley Field and it still causes him
problems.

So imagine how difficult it is for Craig Biggio, who just
switched to left four games ago when the Houston Astros acquired
Carlos Beltran.

Biggio dropped Alou's flyball in the seventh Tuesday night,
allowing two runs to score and sending the Cubs to a 7-5 win over
the Astros.

"We got a break there. He's going to have a tough time moving
to left," Alou said.

"I'm not going to make any excuses. I should have made the
play. I didn't do it and it cost us the game," Biggio said.

"Nobody feels worse in here than I do. It hit on the heel of my
glove. I should've caught it, simple as that."

Alou earlier made a two-base error of his own, knocking a ball
into the ivy with his glove, as Houston took a 4-1 lead in Andy
Pettitte's first start in a month.

"It was as weird as heck out there. Twilight Zone field," Cubs
manager Dusty Baker said of the play in left.

It was a tough game all around for the Astros, whose bullpen
couldn't hold two leads.

Jeff Kent strained a hamstring and had to leave the game and
after the loss, the Astros put Wade Miller on the disabled list
with a sore shoulder.

"We lost two bodies and that's doesn't help our situation, but
nobody's going to have a pity party for us," Biggio said.

After Carlos Beltran put Houston ahead 5-4 in the top of the
seventh with his first homer since joining the Astros in a trade
with the Royals, the Cubs came back.

David Weathers (5-4) gave up a double to pinch-hitter Tom
Goodwin and a tying single to Mark Grudzielanek.

After Michael Barrett singled to put runners at first and third,
Dan Miceli relieved and retired Sammy Sosa on a pop. Alou then
lofted a fly ball to deep left and Biggio missed the ball.

"He'd probably catch 995 or more out of 1,000. Unfortunately he
didn't catch this one," Astros manager Jimy Williams said. "It
was a tough chance."

Francis Beltran (2-1), despite giving up Carlos Beltran's homer,
was the winner. LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth and got Beltran to
ground to first with runners on first and second for his 11th save
in 14 opportunities.

Pettitte, activated from the disabled list Tuesday and pitching
for the first time since May 26 when he left a game against the
Cubs with a strained left forearm, lasted five innings and left
with a 4-3 lead.

He gave up just four hits, including a two-run homer to Corey
Patterson, walked three and struck out seven -- including Sosa three
times.

"We came out with a lot of energy and put up some runs and I
gave it right back to them on the home run to Patterson," Pettitte
said.

"It was good to get back out there for sure. I'm just extremely
disappointed in the loss."

Aramis Ramirez homered in the sixth off Kirk Bullinger to tie
the game.

Houston took a 4-1 lead in the fourth when Adam Everett circled
the bases after he doubled and Alou tried to scoop the ball but
knocked it into the ivy.

As Alou threw up his arms to say he couldn't find the ball -- it
was visible just a few feet from him -- Everett kept running to
score and Alou was charged with a two-base error.

"I didn't know the rule. I don't know any of the rules. That's
why I can't manage when I retire," Alou said.

"It was hit, came out and he got his hands on it and then he
knocked it into the ivy and that's open game," crew chief Dana
DeMuth said. "He's got to dig until he finds it."

Kent started the Houston fourth with a double to left-center but
pulled up lame running to second and was replaced by pinch-runner
Jose Vizcaino.

Morgan Ensberg then hit a long drive to center and Patterson,
retreated and reached up for it on the run, but the ball popped off
his glove, going for an RBI triple. Ensberg then scored on
Everett's double that Alou knocked into the ivy.

Patterson's 10th homer got the Cubs to a run in the bottom of
the fourth.

Game notes
Beltran's single in the first to extend his hitting streak
to 13 games, including all four he's played since coming to the
Astros from the Royals. ... Cubs RHP Kerry Wood is slated to throw
another simulated game Thursday as he works his way back from a
triceps injury.