CHICAGO (AP) _ Joe Mather homered and Travis Wood outpitched
Johan Santana, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 6-1 victory over the
New York Mets on Monday night to snap a four-game skid.
Wood (2-3) struck out six and scattered five hits over seven
scoreless innings to earn his second straight victory. The
25-year-old lefty has given up just eight runs in 31 2-3 innings
this month. Four of those five starts came against former Cy Young
The Cubs scored four unearned runs in the seventh inning with
help from three Mets errors, including three-base miscues by third
baseman David Wright and right fielder Lucas Duda.
Santana (5-4), a two-time Cy Young winner, gave up five hits and
two runs over six innings. He struck out six and walked three.
Mather hit a two-run shot over the left-center field wall off
Santana after a two-out walk to Geovany Soto.
The Cubs threatened to add on in the sixth with runners on
second and third and one out, but Santana struck out Soto looking,
and after walking Mather, got Luis Valbuena to ground out to strand
Wright singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 15
games. Ike Davis homered with two outs in the ninth for the Mets.
The Wrigley Field wind played a big role in Chicago’s four-run
seventh as a pair of popups each turned into three-base errors.
Pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas led off with a high pop in front of
home plate. Catcher Mike Nickeas yielded to Wright, who fumbled the
ball toward the backstop. Two batters later, Darwin Barney’s bloop
to right field was dropped and booted away by a running Lucas Duda.
It got even uglier when Ronny Cedeno misplayed Starlin Castro’s
grounder with the infield in, allowing Barney to score.
Mets manager Terry Collins had expressed concern about his
team’s energy when talking with reporters before the game. The team
didn’t get into Chicago until 4 a.m. Monday morning after losing
two of three to the Yankees in an exhausting weekend series.
New York mustered six hits and didn’t score until Davis’ home
run off of James Russell with two outs in the ninth.
Though they didn’t need it Monday, help is on the way for a
scuffling Cubs offense, which had scored the fourth fewest runs in
the majors coming into play Monday.
Manager Dale Sveum confirmed that highly-touted prospect Anthony
Rizzo would be promoted on Tuesday. The 22-year-old left-handed
first baseman is hitting .345 with 23 homers and 62 RBIs in 69
games at Triple-A Iowa.
NOTES: The Mets designated OF Vinny Rottino for assignment and
selected the contract of LHP Justin Hampson from Triple-A Buffalo.
Hampson, 32, had not pitched in the majors since Sept. 28, 2008,
with San Diego. He tossed a scoreless eighth. . Collins said RHP
Bobby Parnell will be the team’s closer with Frank Francisco (left
oblique strain) on the 15-day DL. . OF Jason Bay (concussion) rode
a stationary bike on Monday. He is scheduled to begin baseball
activities by the weekend according to Collins. . Cubs RHP Ryan
Dempster (right lat tightness) threw off of flat ground Monday and
it “went well,” according to Sveum. Dempster is eligible to come
off the DL on Sunday, but Sveum said a July 6 return in New York is
more likely. . RHP Dillon Gee (5-5, 4.27 ERA) will take the hill
for the Mets in the middle game of the series on Tuesday against
RHP Randy Wells (1-2, 4.91).
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)