|Chi. Cubs «||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||5||2|
CHICAGO -- Derrek Lee's swing was stronger than the gusty wind on a raw day at Wrigley Field.
"I guess we don't do anything the easy way," manager Dusty Baker said.
Lee's homer came on a 3-2 pitch from Heath Bell (0-1) and ended an 11-pitch at-bat. The Cubs, who won for only the third time in 11 games, took two of three from New York.
"He just kept challenging me. I'm glad we won. It was cold out there. I'm glad to get it over with," Lee said.
The gametime temperature of 49 degrees was 28 degrees colder than Tuesday night's game. Coupled with a 14 mph wind blowing in from left field, it had fans bundled up and players blowing on their hands all day.
But Lee, the Cubs' best hitter all season, got his drive through the wind and just into the seats in left-center.
"You couldn't get a cannon through that wind, and on the last pitch he was able to do it," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
When the ball left Lee's bat, he wasn't sure it had enough.
"I had a lot of doubt when I hit it. I thought it was gone and as I was watching it I thought I was going to get mad, the ball isn't going to make it out," Lee said. "You saw a couple of balls hit that on normal days would be gone for sure."
Dempster blew his first save chance of the season, got the win and then went for X-rays on his right forearm after getting hit by Mike Piazza's line drive in the 10th. The X-rays were negative, and Dempster has a deep bruise. He will be evaluated Thursday.
With the Cubs leading 3-2 in the ninth, Dempster gave up a one-out walk to Doug Mientkiewicz and a single to David Wright before fanning Victor Diaz for the second out. But Valent lined a single to left to tie the game and deny Prior a victory.
It was the second start in a row that Prior pitched a gem, only to have his bullpen cost him a win by blowing a lead in the ninth. Chicago's struggling bullpen now has five blown saves.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the ninth, but couldn't score. Neifi Perez hit a comebacker to Bell, who started a 1-2-3 double play that ended the inning.
But Bell lost the showdown with Lee in the 10th. After the count reached 3-2, Lee hit five straight foul balls before connecting for the game-winner.
"Right now he's hitting the ball well and he hit it perfectly," Bell said. "It's not a good feeling. I had a pitch on the outside at 2-2 that I definitely thought was a strike. But you can't blame the umpire. I'm just more disappointed to let the team down."
Diaz's bases-loaded double in the second staked Victor Zambrano to a 2-0 lead, but Chicago scored three in the bottom half, taking the lead on Perez's RBI single.
Prior walked three and struck out seven, retiring 13 straight until Diaz singled with one out in the seventh. And the right-hander might have escaped the second inning if not for the first of two errors by second baseman Jerry Hairston.
Prior walked Cliff Floyd, and Hairston booted Piazza's potential double-play grounder before a walk to Mientkiewicz loaded the bases with none out. One out later, Diaz drove a two-run double off the right-field fence.
The Cubs scored three in the bottom half, thanks to Zambrano's wildness. Hairston was hit by a pitch, and Henry Blanco's fly into the wind fell in front of center fielder Carlos Beltran for a single. Zambrano committed a balk, then threw a wild pitch that allowed Hairston to score.
Prior walked, and when Corey Patterson hit a grounder to first, Mientkiewicz stepped on the bag and threw home, but Piazza couldn't hold it as Blanco scored, tying the game.
Perez then singled to score Prior for a 3-2 lead.
Zambrano allowed just three hits and three runs in six innings.
|Players of the Game|
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|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||5||0||1||0||0||0||5||.250|
|Kaz Matsui, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||1||1||.231|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||4||0||1||0||1||1||1||.305|
|Cliff Floyd, LF||4||1||0||0||1||1||3||.330|
|Mike Piazza, C||5||1||0||0||0||1||3||.219|
|Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B||2||1||0||0||2||2||2||.225|
|David Wright, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.255|
|Victor Diaz, RF||4||0||2||2||0||1||2||.286|
|Victor Zambrano, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.267|
|a- Marlon Anderson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.400|
|Roberto Hernandez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Eric Valent, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.179|
|Mike DeJean, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Dae-Sung Koo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Heath Bell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Zambrano in the 7th|
|b-singled for Hernandez in the 9th|
|2B - Victor Diaz (7, Prior)|
|RBI - Victor Diaz 2 (14), Eric Valent (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Eric Valent (1)|
|CS - Victor Diaz (2, 2nd base by Prior/Blanco)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Bell-Piazza-Mientkiewicz|
|New York Mets|
|Heath Bell (L,0-1)||0.2||1||1||1||0||0||1||3.86|
|HBP - Hairston (by Victor Zambrano)|
|WP - Victor Zambrano (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Victor Zambrano 93-56, Roberto Hernandez 36-22, Mike DeJean 8-4, Dae-Sung Koo 4-0, Heath Bell 17-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Victor Zambrano 10-4, Roberto Hernandez 1-2, Heath Bell 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Victor Zambrano 26, Roberto Hernandez 7, Mike DeJean 3, Dae-Sung Koo 1, Heath Bell 2|
|Corey Patterson, CF||3||0||1||1||1||0||1||.263|
|Neifi Perez, SS||5||0||1||1||0||1||4||.298|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||4||1||1||1||1||1||2||.383|
|Jeromy Burnitz, RF||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.288|
|Jason Dubois, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.256|
|Ryan Dempster, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.077|
|Jose Macias, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.212|
|Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||.261|
|Henry Blanco, C||2||1||1||0||2||1||0||.120|
|Mark Prior, P||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.364|
|a- Ben Grieve, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.300|
|Will Ohman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Todd Hollandsworth, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.207|
|a-walked for Prior in the 7th|
|HR - Derrek Lee (10, Bell)|
|SH - Corey Patterson (3), Mark Prior (2)|
|RBI - Corey Patterson (14), Neifi Perez (14), Derrek Lee (33)|
|2-OUT RBI - Neifi Perez (1)|
|SB - Corey Patterson (3, 2nd base off Zambrano/Piazza)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Jerry Hairston Jr. 2 (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Will Ohman (H,1)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Ryan Dempster (BS,1; W,2-3)||2||3||1||1||1||2||0||5.65|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mark Prior 110-70, Will Ohman 15-12, Ryan Dempster 35-20|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Prior 9-6, Ryan Dempster 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Mark Prior 27, Will Ohman 4, Ryan Dempster 10|
|Attendance - 38475|
|Game Time - 3:16|
|Temperature - 49|
|Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Jim Wolf|