EditorsNote: rewords fifth graf
Ian Happ’s two-run homer capped a six-run first inning Wednesday night for the Chicago Cubs, who had to withstand furious rallies by the host New York Mets to win 10-7.
The Cubs have won the first two games of the three-game set to open a four-game lead over the Mets in the race for the National League’s second wild-card spot. New York has lost five straight.
The Cubs appeared on their way to an easy victory when the Mets unraveled after a first-inning throwing error by shortstop Amed Rosario on a potential inning-ending double-play ball.
Nicholas Castellanos, who was plunked with one out, scored from second on the error. Kyle Schwarber added an RBI double and Addison Russell followed with a two-run single before Happ homered to left field.
The Cubs continued to pile on against Mets starter Noah Syndergaard (9-7) in the second and third, when Schwarber and Castellanos hit two-run homers for a 10-1 lead.
But the Mets stormed back and chased Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks during a five-run fifth, when Todd Frazier hit a one-out, pinch-hit double before Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis hit back-to-back homers to pull New York within 10-4.
Michael Conforto followed with a single and later scored on a two-out single by Joe Panik that ended Hendricks’ night. Rosario then greeted David Phelps with an RBI single before Juan Lagares, who made the first out of the inning, lined out.
The Mets, whose biggest single-game comeback was from eight runs down against the Houston Astros on Sept. 2, 1972, had the tying run on deck in each of the next three innings but scored only in the eighth on an RBI groundout by Conforto.
New York got the tying run to the plate in the ninth against Craig Kimbrel, who allowed the first two batters he faced to reach before setting down the next three batters to earn his 12th save.
Left-hander Kyle Ryan (4-2), who came on to pitch a scoreless sixth inning, was credited with the win.
Syndergaard allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on nine hits and one walk while striking out five over three innings. He is the first Mets pitcher since Johan Santana on May 2, 2010, to give up 10 runs in a start.
Hendricks gave up six runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out three over 4 2/3 innings.
—Field Level Media