Originally created 04/10/98

Cubs edge Mets, 8-7

CHICAGO -- Steve Trachsel pitched 5 2-3 innings for his second victory and again helped himself at the plate as the Chicago Cubs took a seven-run lead and held off the New York Mets 8-7 Thursday on a cold and windy afternoon.

Chicago, winless in its first 14 games last year, improved to 7-2. The Cubs didn't get their seventh win last season until May 3, their 28th game.

Trachsel (2-0) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and six hits. He also singled during a four-run second and walked during a three-run fourth. In his first start this season, Trachsel had three RBIs and two hits.

Rod Beck pitched the ninth for his fifth save in five chances, allowing an RBI double to Brian McRae and a run-scoring groundout to Butch Huskey. With two outs and the potential tying run on third, Rey Ordonez grounded out.

A day after the teams were washed out, the start was delayed 37 minutes by rain. It was just 42 degrees at game time with an 18 mph wind from the north.

Chicago took a 4-0 lead in the second on Henry Rodriguez's third homer, Brant Brown's RBI single and Mickey Morandini's two-run triple. Right fielder Rich Becker complained Morandini should have been sent back to second because the ball got stuck in the ivy.

After Trachsel walked in the fourth, Sammy Sosa's two-run double finished Rick Reed (0-1). Mark Grace greeted Brian Bohanon with an RBI single.

New York closed to 7-4 on Edgardo Alfonzo's sacrifice fly in the fifth and a three-run sixth that included Carlos Baerga's sacrifice fly, Jim Tatum's bloop double and a two-base error on Rodriguez, who dropped Ordonez's fly to left.

John Hudek forced in a run in the sixth with three straight walks. Ordonez singled in a run off Marc Pisciotta in the eighth.

Notes: Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner will take three weeks off beginning Friday to help facilitate his recovery from Bell's Palsy. "I expect to be back working at the end of April or the beginning of May," said Kiner, a Hall of Famer who's been with the Mets since their inception in 1962. ... Mets pitchers Al Leiter and Dennis Cook, who pitched for Florida last year, got their World Series rings Thursday from Marlins' assistant general manager Frank Wren. ... Tatum left in the sixth after straining his right knee running the bases. ... Announced attendance was 17,313, although there weren't half that many in the ballpark.. ... New York pitcher Paul Wilson has a small bone spur in the back of his elbow and had a cortisone shot Thursday. He will need at least three days' rest. He began the year on the disabled list. ... Cubs reliever Bob Patterson left with a strained calf muscle after pitching to one batter in the eighth.


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