Series: Game 1 of 3

Chi Cubs leads 1-0 (as of 6/29)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 29
Chi Cubs7
Game 2: Wednesday, June 30
Chi Cubs2
Game 3: Thursday, July 1
in 10
Chi Cubs5

Astros 5

(39-37, 19-18 away)

Cubs 7

(42-34, 21-15 home)

    8:05 PM ET, June 29, 2004

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 100300100 5 13 1
    CHC 01020130 - 7 8 1

    W: F. Beltran (2-1)

    L: D. Weathers (5-4)

    S: L. Hawkins (11)

    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.

    Craig Biggio

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press