Series: Game 3 of 3

Houston won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, May 30
Chi Cubs1
Game 2: Saturday, May 31
in 16
Chi Cubs1
Game 3: Sunday, June 1
Chi Cubs3

Astros 9

(30-27, 14-15 away)

Cubs 3

(30-25, 14-13 home)

    2:20 PM ET, June 1, 2003

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 000410040 9 10 0
    CHC 000001200 3 8 1

    W: J. Robertson (4-3)

    L: K. Wood (4-4)

    Astros break out against Wood

    CHICAGO (AP) -- One day after they couldn't score for 16 innings, the Houston Astros broke through against Kerry Wood, who's been especially tough on them in the past.

    "Yesterday was a big game to lose and coming in today they got Kerry going, but it just turns out that's how baseball is,'' Houston's Lance Berkman said hitting a homer and driving in three runs as the Astros beat the Chicago Cubs 9-3 Sunday.

    "We hit today about as well as we have hit all year,'' Berkman said. "When Kerry Wood makes a mistake, you've got to hit it. He can get in a groove.''

    Wood, who struck out 20 Astros in his fifth major league start in 1998, is not pitching poorly these days, but he's not winning, either.

    Wood (4-4) failed for a sixth straight start to get his fifth win this season and the 50th of his career. He hasn't won since April 29 and has dropped his last three decisions. He gave up six hits, five runs and three walks while striking out 11 in six innings.

    "It's definitely frustrating. It's probably the first time all season I had three pitches I was throwing for strikes,'' Wood said.

    "I feel good and I feel strong and I feel like I'm throwing it well. Things are just not going my way.''

    Coming off a 1-0 loss in 16 innings Saturday, the Astros broke a 23-inning scoreless drought with four runs in the fourth -- all with two outs. The first run scored on Berkman's double.

    "Basically, they got runners in scoring position, put together some good at-bats and got the job done,'' Wood said.

    His mission gets tougher Saturday when he is scheduled to face the New York Yankees and fellow Texan Roger Clemens, who failed Sunday to get his 300th victory at Detroit.

    Clemens and Wood share the major league record with 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game.

    Houston's Jeriome Robertson (4-3) won his third straight start, allowing four hits in six-plus innings as the Astros moved within one game of the first-place Cubs in the NL Central by winning two of three at Wrigley Field. The rookie left-hander was removed after giving up a leadoff double to Sammy Sosa in the seventh.

    Eric Karros then hit a two-run homer off reliever Ricky Stone to pull the Cubs to 5-3. But Berkman and pinch-hitter Morgan Ensberg hit two-run homers off Mike Remlinger in the eighth, giving the Astros a 9-3 lead.

    Wood retired the first nine batters before walking Orlando Merced to start the fourth. Two outs later, Jeff Kent singled for the Astros' first hit and Berkman delivered an RBI double, snapping Houston's scoreless streak.

    "He probably made a few more pitches over the plate than he wanted to and we were able to get some wood on it,'' Berkman said.

    Colin Porter walked to load the bases, Jose Vizcaino had a run-scoring single off Mark Grudzielanek's glove at second and Gregg Zaun followed with a two-run single.

    Houston loaded the bases again in the fifth and Wood threw a wild pitch to make it 5-0.

    The Cubs got their first run in the sixth when pinch-hitter Tom Goodwin singled, reached second on Robertson's balk, stole third and scored on Alex Gonzalez's grounder.

    Game notes

    Cubs manager Dusty Baker said he planned to call Matt Williams, who was designated for assignment Sunday by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs have been shuffling third baseman all year. Williams played for the Giants when Baker was managing in San Francisco. ``Right now we don't know exactly what is going to happen. Matt is one of my favorite guys. It's a matter of how he can play and how much he has left,'' Baker said. ... Craig Biggio was given the day off to rest. ... Kent, who was 0-for-7 Saturday when he hit three long drives that the wind knocked down, had three hits. ... The temperature was 52, just four degrees warmer than Saturday, but the wind was a mild 6 mph, compared to 24 a day earlier.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press