Series: Game 3 of 3

Chi Cubs won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, May 23
Chi Cubs5Final
Game 2: Saturday, May 24
Chi Cubs3Final
Game 3: Sunday, May 25
Chi Cubs7Final

Cubs 7

(28-21, 16-12 away)

Astros 3

(26-24, 16-12 home)

    2:05 PM ET, May 25, 2003

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    CHC 021020200 7 11 0
    HOU 100000200 3 6 1

    W: C. Zambrano (5-4)

    L: W. Miller (2-6)

    Cubs finish 13-game road trip with 8-5 record

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Two weeks away from Wrigley Field without slugger Sammy Sosa would have crushed the Chicago Cubs in the past.

    Moises Alou

    These aren't the same Cubs anymore.

    Moises Alou hit three RBI singles and Carlos Zambrano pitched 6 1/3 strong innings as Chicago finished off a long road trip with a 7-3 victory over the Houston Astros.

    The NL Central-leading Cubs took two of three in Houston to go 8-5 on the trip despite missing Sosa, who is on the disabled list with an injured right toe.

    "I'm just glad it's over,'' manager Dusty Baker said. "I knew this would be a tough stretch but we played hard and we played well. I can't say that we surpassed our expectations. We knew what we had to do, we just didn't know how we would do it without Sammy.''

    The Cubs won eight games on a trip for the first time since going 8-2 in 1993. One game was rained out on the trip -- Chicago's longest scheduled stretch away from home since a 15-game trip in 1983.

    "I think we all did a good job of stepping up and proving that even without Sammy we are a good team,'' reliever Mike Remlinger said. "We have a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things.''

    Alou hit RBI singles in the third, fifth and seventh innings against his former team. Alou went 3-for-3 to raise his career average at Minute Maid Park to .344.

    Zambrano (5-4) allowed three runs, five hits and five walks. He struck out five.

    "He wasn't as sharp as he has been,'' Baker said. "But our offense came through when it had to. Everybody talks about our offense, but our pitching has been good too.

    Houston's Jeff Bagwell went 0-for-4 to stretch his slump to 6-for-35.

    "He's a power pitcher who has a great sinker,'' Bagwell said. "He mixes in his offspeed stuff well. But he basically comes at you with his power stuff.''

    Wade Miller (2-6) allowed five runs, eight hits and three walks in five innings to take the loss.

    Astros catcher Brad Ausmus was ejected in the second inning after protesting a safe call at home. The Cubs had runners on second and third when Lenny Harris singled to shallow center.

    Center fielder Brian Hunter fielded the ball, threw home and Ausmus appeared to tag Hee Seop Choi in time at the plate. But home plate umpire Mark Carlson said Choi slid under the tag triggering Ausmus' outburst.

    Alex Gonzalez had an RBI single in the fifth and drove in another on a fielder's choice in the seventh.

    Geoff Blum appeared for the first time since spending the night in the hospital with a mild case of viral meningitis last Tuesday and hit an RBI double in the seventh to chase Zambrano.

    Blum went to third on a wild pitch by reliever Kyle Farnsworth and scored on Hunter's groundout to make it 7-3.

    Jeff Kent's RBI single gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the first.

    Game notes

    Houston OF Richard Hidalgo remained in the hospital Sunday with a severe case of tonsillitis and a high fever. He went in Friday. Club officials said they didn't know when Hidalgo would get out but did not expect him to make the trip to St. Louis on Monday. ... Harris needs just two more hits to reach 1,000 for his major league career.... Alou is hitting .397 with three homers and 13 RBIs his last 17 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press