Series: Game 1 of 3

Houston leads 1-0 (as of 6/10)

Game 1: Monday, June 10
Chicago 2Final
Houston 4
Game 2: Tuesday, June 11
Chicago 9Final
Houston 5
Game 3: Wednesday, June 12
Chicago 4Final
Houston 5

Cubs 2

(25-37, 15-20 away)

Astros 4

(27-35, 16-13 home)

    8:05 PM ET, June 10, 2002

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    CHC 000020000 2 - -
    HOU 10201000 - 4 - -

    W: W. Miller (1-2)

    L: K. Wood (6-4)

    S: B. Wagner (10)

    Miller cruises; Berkman hits homer No. 20

    HOUSTON (AP) -- It's been a while since Wade Miller felt this good. Sept. 7, to be exact -- the last time he won a game.

    Wade Miller

    Miller won for the first time this season and Lance Berkman hit a solo home run as the Houston Astros snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

    "It felt nice and easy, just like my old self,'' Miller said. "It seemed like a long time. It's the best I've felt this year. Everything seemed to click. I wasn't trying to overdo it. I just went out and pitched and tried to throw strikes.''

    Miller (1-2) was the Astros' Opening Day pitcher but he was on the disabled list from April 13 until May 29, recovering from a pinched nerve in his neck. It was a slow start after a 16-8 finish last season.

    "That's an accomplishment in itself after what he's gone through,'' Houston manager Jimy Williams said. "Probably the last time he went seven innings was last year.''

    The Astros, who had lost six of seven, beat Kerry Wood for the first time. Wood was 5-0 in seven career starts against Houston.

    "Obviously, we haven't done a great job of hitting against him before,'' Berkman said. "But he's a great pitcher. To get four runs off that guy, you should win.''

    Miller pitched seven innings, allowed seven hits, two runs and struck out eight. He didn't walk a batter.

    "He threw like he threw many times last year,'' Astros catcher Brad Ausmus said. "He's not really a pinpoint control guy, but he has very good velocity and very good movement. He had it all going tonight.''

    Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.

    Wood (6-4) pitched six innings and walked only one batter but had early control problems. He knocked down Craig Biggio with an inside pitch in the third inning.

    "I just didn't have my good stuff,'' Wood said. "I had a hard time locating my fastball, but on a positive note, my curveball was better than it has been and so was my cutter.

    "I got behind on the counts a lot earlier and I didn't have a lot on my fastball.''

    Biggio struck out, but Wood also flattened the next batter, Geoff Blum, before walking him on four pitches. After Berkman hit an RBI double to make it 2-0, Wood hit Jeff Bagwell with a pitch.

    Daryle Ward's sacrifice fly made it 3-0 in the third.

    The Astros got their first run in the first inning when Biggio led off with a double and scored on Blum's double to center field.

    Wood allowed a season-high nine hits, four earned runs and struck out six.

    Corey Patterson hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning off Miller.

    "It's frustrating for the staff,'' Cubs manager Don Baylor said. "It's been like that for a while. But the pitchers keep going out there like Kerry did. Four runs isn't insurmountable but we can't seem to climb the hill."

    Berkman hit his 20th homer in the bottom of the fifth.

    Game notes

    Cubs closer Tom Gordon threw for about 15 minutes in the bullpen continuing his recovery from a torn shoulder muscle. He will pitch in a simulated game on Wednesday and could be activated from the disabled list. "I'd like to activate him tomorrow,'' Baylor said. "He needs to face some hitters, but the way he threw today you could never tell he'd been injured.'' ... The Astros were playing in their newly renamed ballpark, Minute Maid Park. ... The Cubs recalled INF Augie Ojeda from Triple-A Iowa to fill the roster spot left by C Robert Machado, who was traded to Milwaukee ... Astros RHP Scott Linebrink will pitch two innings in a rehabilitation start Tuesday at Triple-A New Orleans and one inning each Friday and Saturday at Double-A Round Rock. He is recovering from a strained right elbow. ... Cubs 2B Bobby Hill is hitless in six games and 0-for-18 in that stretch.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press