Cubs SS Nomar Garciaparra drove in two runs last night in his first rehabilitation game for the team's Class A affiliate in Peoria, Ill.

"All in all, I was pleased," Garciaparra said. "We were talking about maybe just three at-bats and then I was going 'Let's finish this game.' I think that says a lot."

The Peoria Chiefs won the game, 7-3, over the visiting Dayton Dragons. Batting second, Garciaparra flew out in his first at-bat and went 1 for 4. His lone hit came in the sixth inning, when he drove in two runs with a single to right field.

The five-time all-star also fielded two ground balls in the game, including an inning-ending double play in the fifth.

* BACKE GOES TO DL: Astros starter Brandon Backe is headed to the 15-day DL because of a strained muscle near his rib cage suffered during a throwing session between starts. Backe (8-7) was supposed to start tonight against the Mets, but was hurt while tossing in the bullpen Monday. Rookie Ezequiel Astacio (1-4) was called up from Class AAA Round Rock and will take Backe's place in the rotation.

* SURGERY FOR HERNANDEZ: The slumping Padres got another jolt of bad news when C Ramon Hernandez decided to have surgery on his injured left wrist. Hernandez sought a second opinion from a specialist in Los Angeles. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow and Hernandez is expected to be out for three to six weeks.

* SUSPENSION REDUCED: Braves C Johnny Estrada had his three-game suspension for an altercation with umpire Doug Eddings reduced to two games and his fine reduced to $3,500.

-- From News Services

Nomar Garciaparra, wearing the cap of the Peoria Chiefs, went 1 for 4 with 2 RBI in the first game of his rehab assignment.