New York-The New York Mets (59-65) broke out on offense tonight, and they did it despite getting only four hits. The four hits were very timely, however, and the Mets got strong work from their bullpen to secure a 7-3 win over the Chicago Cubs (52-70). The win made it two in a row over Chicago.
The Mets grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when on an RBI ground rule double from Juan Lagares. Wilmer Flores followed with a two run single off of Dan Straily (L, 1-3) to put the Mets up 3-0. The Cubs got on the board in the top of the fifth, when catcher Welington Castilo's solo homer (9) cut the Mets' lead to 3-1. The Mets didn't wait too long to do some more damage, loading the bases with one out. Matt den Dekker then drew a walk to force in a run, making it 4-1. Lagares followed with a fly ball to center field that was dropped by Arismady Alcantara, allowing two more runs to score. Mets' starter Jonathon Niese also helped his cause by recording an RBI groundout to push the Mets' lead out to 7-1.
The long sixth inning at bat seemed to affect Niese, who lost his effectiveness after cruising through the first six innings. Niese (W, 7-8) started out the seventh by surrendering a solo homer to Justin Ruggiano (5) to make it 7-2. Niese then loaded the bases with one out, and was hit with an infield single by Ryan Sweeney. That infield single plated a run, making it 7-3. Mets' skipper Terry Collins had seen enough, pulling Niese in favor of Vic Black. Black got Chris Coghlan to line out to left for the first out, then induced pop ups from Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo to get out of the inning without allowing another run. That would be as close as the Cubs would get, as Jeurys Familia and Buddy Carlyle tossed scoreless innings to seal the victory.
Player of the Game Award:
Today's Player of the Game Award goes to Mets' relief pitcher Vic Black, who came into a complete mess in the seventh inning. Black came in with the bases loaded and no men out, but got out of the jam without surrendering a run. Black has now stranded 15 straight inherited runners and has pitched to a miniscule 2.05 ERA on the year.
Post Game Notes:
- David Wright was hit in the back by a pitch in the sixth inning. Wright was removed after the frame and is considered day to day with shoulder soreness. Wright will get the day off tomorrow.
- The Mets won despite getting only one hit after the second inning.
- Wilmer Flores, who was told he was getting tomorrow off, went 1 for 3 with a key two run single in the second inning.
The Mets and Cubs continue their series tomorrow afternoon. Rafael Montero (0-3, 6.12 ERA) and Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77 ERA) will be the starting pitchers. First pitch at Citi Field is scheduled for 1:10 pm.
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