Series: Game 2 of 3

Houston leads 2-0 (as of 6/1)

Game 1: Friday, May 31
Houston 4Final
Chicago 1
Game 2: Saturday, June 1
Houston 7Final
Chicago 3
Game 3: Sunday, June 2
Houston 2Final
Chicago 4

Astros 7

(25-29, 10-16 away)

Cubs 3

(21-33, 9-17 home)

    4:05 PM ET, June 1, 2002

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 011500000 7 - -
    CHC 020000010 3 - -

    W: R. Oswalt (6-3)

    L: M. Prior (1-1)

    S: O. Dotel (2)

    Rookie Prior gives up three early homers, takes first loss

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Mark Prior found out how tough Wrigley Field can be to a pitcher when the wind is blowing out.

    The Houston Astros handed Prior his first major league loss, roughing up the heralded rookie for three early home runs and beat the Chicago Cubs 7-3 Saturday.

    With the wind gusting up to 22 mph, Prior was tagged for seven runs, seven hits and gave up three home runs in 3 2/3 innings.

    "He's knows you have to keep the ball down when the wind is blowing out and I think he learned that lesson,'' Cubs manager Don Baylor said.

    But Prior believes that adjusting to the wind isn't necessary.

    "You can't pitch whether the wind is blowing in or out. You got to go out there and throw your game,'' Prior said.

    The Cubs, who have now lost five of their last seven held a closed-door meeting before Saturday's game.

    "I can't really give any detail,'' Sammy Sosa said. "That stays between us.''

    Richard Hidalgo, Lance Berkman and Geoff Blum all homered off Prior in his third big league start.

    Prior helped himself with a two-run double, but was chased in the Astros' five-run fourth. He struck out five and walked two.

    Chicago pitching coach Larry Rothschild was ejected in the second inning by plate umpire Jeff Nelson after arguing balls and strikes.

    Roy Oswalt (6-3) pitched 7 2/3 innings, giving up three runs and eight hits. He retired 11 batters in a row before Fred McGriff hit a one-out single in the eighth.

    "He pitched good,'' Astros manager Jimy Williams said. "The farther he went into the game, the more efficient he pitched.''

    It was 2-all when Hidalgo led off the fourth with a double and Blum followed with his first homer of the year. Berkman hit an RBI single and reliever Courtney Duncan gave up a two-run single to Daryle Ward.

    Hidalgo, who hit two homers Friday, sent a drive into the left-field bleachers in the second. He is 35-for-82 (.427) with 11 home runs at Wrigley.

    Berkman hit his 18th home run on a 3-1 pitch from Prior in the third.

    Oswalt was lifted in the eighth after giving up an RBI single to Roosevelt Brown.

    "I felt good,'' Oswalt said. "The last inning I was just getting the ball up.''

    Joe Girardi hit a two-out triple in the second, and the ball fell in right field when Hidalgo lost it in the sun. Houston manager Jimy Williams decided to intentionally walk Bobby Hill to get to Prior, but the pitcher doubled over Berkman's head in center.

    At Triple-A Iowa this season, Prior was 3-for-7 with two homers.

    Game notes

    Game-time temperature was 89 degrees. ... Four-time NCAA wrestling champion Cael Sanderson was the guest conductor of the seventh-inning stretch.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press