Alomar, Piazza sink Cubs with back-to-back homers

CHICAGO (AP) -- Leave it to an old AL foe to give up Roberto Alomar's first home run with the New York Mets.

The Mets have actually found a taker for Cedeno.
The Mets have actually found a taker for Cedeno.

Alomar homered for the first time since being traded to the

New York Mets, and Mike Piazza followed with a home run of his own to give

New York a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

"It's a relief when you face somebody you know," Alomar said.

"I went out there looking for a pitch I can drive."

Drive it, he did.

The Mets weren't having much luck against Kerry Wood, who struck

out 10 and allowed just four hits over seven innings. But with a

2-1 lead, a blister on Wood's middle finger and right-hander Kyle

Farnsworth hurt, Cubs manager Don Baylor opted to have lefty Jeff

Fassero pitch the eighth inning.

During Alomar's time in the American League, he was 8-for-16

with two homers against Fassero. While just 1-for-18 against

lefties coming in, Alomar put the first pitch he saw from Fassero

(2-0) into the right-field bleachers.

"I thought it was an out," Fassero said. "But the ball just

kept going and going."

Farnsworth, who has a 0.00 ERA in 1 1/3 innings this season, was

warming up in the seventh when he heard a "pop" in his right

foot. X-rays showed a stress fracture, and he's expected to miss

4-to-6 weeks. He'll go on the 15-day disabled list Thursday.

That meant Baylor had to stick with Fassero. And Piazza, who

struck out in his first three at-bats, followed with an

opposite-field homer to right on a 3-1 pitch.

Fassero finally got Edgardo Alfonzo on a popup to end the

inning, and there were boos as he left the field.

"You're only as good as your last at-bat," Piazza said.

"Robbie gave us a lift and I was just glad to put us over the


The homer was the first in the NL since Sept. 17, 1990, for

Alomar, who was traded to the Mets from Cleveland in December. He

began his career with the San Diego Padres.

Alomar finished the day 1-for-4, boosting his average to .200.

"I checked his record, and he doesn't do all that well in the

first week," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "I know we all

want to see everyone play their greatest game every day they play,

but humans don't do that.

"He showed he was a little human. And then he showed he was

Robbie Alomar in the eighth inning."

David Weathers (2-0) allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings. Armando

Benitez pitched the ninth for his first save, striking out one and

allowing a double to Alex Gonzalez.

With the wind blowing in at Wrigley Field, it was a pitcher's

duel early. Wood gave up only one hit after the third inning, and

Shawn Estes allowed only one all day.

But both pitchers ran into trouble in the seventh. Alfonzo got

the Mets going with a leadoff, full-count walk, and Jeromy Burnitz

followed with a single.

Mark Johnson sacrificed to put both runners into scoring

position, and Alfonzo scored on Rey Ordonez's sacrifice fly.

"(Wood) had a blister from the second inning on and he pitched

through it," Baylor said. "I was trying to get him the lead. He

pitched well enough that he deserved to win that game."

The Cubs got Wood the lead. Corey Patterson and Sammy Sosa

leading off the bottom of the seventh with walks, and Gonzalez hit

an RBI single. Two batters later, pinch-hitter Todd Hundley flied

to right, giving the Cubs a 2-1 lead.

That, Baylor figured, was good enough for Wood to call it a day.

"If it was a 1-0 game, he was probably going to go back out

there," Baylor said. "But once we got the lead ... we had to hold

and we didn't."

Game notes

Alomar's previous NL homer came off Houston's Danny Darwin.

... Wood has had double-digit strikeouts in 21 of his 79 major

league starts. ... Patterson stole his sixth base of the season.

... Vanna White was the guest conductor for "Take Me Out to the

Ball Game." No, she didn't spell it out.