By HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Zack Wheeler struck out 10 in a gritty performance, Eric Campbell hit a three-run homer and the New York Mets beat the free-swinging Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday night.
Wheeler (8-8) threw a career-high 120 pitches in 6 2-3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits. He walked four and hit a batter but overpowered the Cubs in improving to 5-0 in his last nine starts.
The Cubs entered having struck out 77 times in their previous seven games, including 16 on Thursday in a loss to Milwaukee. Five of their first six outs Friday came by the K, and they fanned 14 times overall.
Vic Black struck out the only batter he faced and Jeurys Familia had two strikeouts in the eighth inning. Pitching with a hernia, Jenrry Mejia fanned one in a perfect ninth for his 18th save.
Travis Wood (7-10) gave up three runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings to drop to 0-5 in his last 11 starts.
The Mets rebounded from a dreadful three-game sweep at the hands of the NL East-leading Washington Nationals to beat the Central’s last-place Cubs for just the first time in four meetings between the teams this season.
Chicago swept three games at Wrigley Field in June. Wheeler pitched 6 2-3 shutout innings but got a no-decision in the opener of that series.
The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the third _ the one inning Wheeler did not record a K _ behind Anthony Rizzo’s run-scoring groundout and Starlin Castro’s RBI single. Castro had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.
Campbell, getting more playing time since Chris Young was cut a week ago, hit the second homer of his career an out after Wood walked David Wright and Lucas Duda.
Cubs: Luis Valbuena is being held out of the starting lineup Friday and Saturday. Manager Rick Renteria thinks the scuffling infielder needs a break. Valbuena also has a cold. He grounded out as a pinch-hitter to end the game to fall to 1 for 30.
Mets: Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow inflammation) will make a rehabilitation start for Double-A Binghamton on Saturday. Manager Terry Collins says he is not sure where Matsuzaka will fit when he returns.
Cubs: Right-hander Dan Straily, obtained in the trade that sent Jeff Samardzija to Oakland on July 5, will make his Cubs debut. Renteria said Straily is being called up from Triple-A Iowa to give the rest of the rotation an extra days’ rest. The team is in a stretch of having a game on 20 straight days.
Mets: Jonathon Niese (6-8) is 2-4 with a 5.26 ERA against the Cubs. Castro is 5 for 16 (.313) with a homer and five RBIs against the left-hander
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