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Astacio handcuffs ChiSox in delay-filled outing

CHICAGO (AP) -- Mets manager Bobby Valentine said pitching well
wasn't enough for Pedro Astacio.

Astacio allowed five hits over seven innings, and shook off
almost two hours of delays as the New York Mets beat the Chicago
White Sox 3-1 Monday.

``Pedro wasn't going to let anything stop him tonight,''
Valentine said after Astacio won for the first time in five starts.
``He was determined to pitch, and he didn't care when it was, how
it was, he wanted a win real badly. He pitched like he deserved
it.''

Astacio (7-2) allowed a solo homer to Paul Konerko in the
seventh, but not much else. He struck out four and walked none,
throwing 112 pitches.

``The delays didn't throw me off or anything,'' Astacio said.
``Delays are part of it. I just really mixed up my pitches
tonight.''

The Mets got solo homers from Roberto Alomar and Timo Perez --
who went deep for the second straight game -- and won on a weird
night during their first visit to Comiskey Park.

Alomar sprained his left knee in the seventh inning chasing
Aaron Rowand's blooper to shallow right. Alomar stayed in the game
and fielded his position in the eighth, but was replaced by Joe
McEwing to start the ninth.

Alomar said he twisted his knee trying to get out of Burnitz's
way. He's day-to-day.

``He thought he could stay in, but it stiffened up on him in the
dugout,'' Valentine said.

The White Sox continued an up-and-down ride on offense. Chicago
scored 13 runs Sunday, but manager Jerry Manuel said his club was
shut down by Astacio's off-speed pitches.

``Sometimes, you face a good pitcher, and it appears he's the
type that gives us trouble,'' Manuel said. ``He kept us off-balance
with slow stuff. He was masterful.''

Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15
chances.

The first pitch was delayed 1 hour, 37 minutes because of heavy
rain, and a power outage stopped play for 16 minutes in the top of
the first. A brief third delay -- for a fight in the stands, and a
shorter wait -- for a fan who ran on the field -- made for a wacky
evening.

With two outs in the first and a 1-0 count on Alomar, White Sox
starter Gary Glover (2-2) began his windup when a loud pop was
heard, and some electrical power -- including that for two main
light towers -- shut off. Players left the field as Comiskey was
bathed in an eerie half-light.

After the power came back on, Alomar worked the count full and
hit his fifth homer.

Perez had an RBI single in the third, and hit his fourth homer
in the fifth.

Glover allowed three runs on seven hits over 4 2-3 innings.

After Konerko's homer, Carlos Lee singled, setting up an
incredible defensive play.

Rowand hit a blooper to short right that Alomar dropped. Lee
held up, expecting a catch, and outfielder Jeromy Burnitz got the
ball and threw quickly to Rey Ordonez, who did the splits,
full-extension, to make the force at second.

Game notes
The Mets fired batting coach Dave Engle before the game,
and will use first-base coach Mookie Wilson in that capacity until
the club hires a new instructor. ... Rowand made an all-out dive to
catch Perez's fly to the track in left-center leading off the
first. ... Alomar has 21 homers against the White Sox, his most
against any opponent. ... All of Perez's homers have come in his
last 11 games. ... Glover has a 6.27 ERA in 7 starts. ... Mets
reliever David Weathers had to leave the game in the eighth after
taking a liner off his leg and later colliding with Mets catcher
Vance Wilson. Weathers has a bruise, but said he'd be OK. ...
Astacio is 5-1 on the road.