CHICAGO (AP) _ Carlos Zambrano pitched six strong innings, went
3 for 3 at the plate and drove in a run to help the Chicago Cubs
beat the New York Mets 9-3 on Thursday.

Zambrano (5-2) allowed two runs– one earned– on six hits and
two walks while picking up his first win at Wrigley Field since
Sept. 4. He doubled and scored a run at the plate, and now has four
hits in his last four at-bats to raise his average to .375 on the
Carlos Pena stayed hot for Chicago, lacing a two-run homer in
the fourth. It was Pena’s sixth of the year, all of them since May
3. Pena has reached base in 19 of his last 20 games.

The Mets lost starter R.A. Dickey to a heel injury in the third
when he fell trying to cover first base. New York’s bullpen allowed
eight hits and seven runs after Dickey departed.

Alfonso Soriano had a two-run double, a single and scored a run
for the Cubs. Rookie Tony Campana added three singles and made a
couple of nice catches in center in his first start.

Kosuke Fukudome also had three hits, including his first homer
of the season, a solo shot in the eighth that gave the Cubs their
last run. Chicago matched its season high with 17 hits.

The Mets added to their season-long injury woes in the third.
Zambrano reached on a two-out single, and Fukudome chopped a
grounder to second. First baseman Daniel Murphy had come off the
bag in pursuit the ball, so Dickey ran over to cover first. He
stumbled and fell, and remained on the ground for several minutes.

Dickey eventually limped off the field and down the dugout
steps, and was replaced on the mound by reliever Pedro Beato. The
team said Dickey had “pain in his right heel.”

The Cubs got to Beato in the fourth. Starlin Castro led off with
a walk, and Pena lined a 2-1 pitch into the right-field bleachers
through a stiff wind. Koyie Hill added an RBI groundout, and
Zambrano lined a run-scoring single, giving Chicago a four-run

The Cubs tacked on another couple of runs in the fifth on
Soriano’s two-run double.

The game didn’t start so well for the Cubs. After the first two
innings passed quickly, the Mets broke out on top on a mash and
some miscues.

Jose Reyes lined a double into the left-field corner. As he
rounded the bag at second, the throw from Fukudome skipped by
second baseman Barney. Reyes raced for third as Barney retrieved
the errant throw, but Barney’s throw to third was wild, allowing
Reyes to score.

Barney also was charged with an error in the first trying to
flip a ball to shortstop Castro at the second base bag, giving
Chicago three errors in the first two innings. The Cubs entered the
game 15th in National League fielding percentage.

The Mets’ second run came in the fifth, when Jason Pridie led
off with a triple and scored on Josh Thole’s two-out single.
More depressing spring weather delayed the start of the game for
31 minutes. The temperature at game time was 42 degrees and a 15
mph wind was blew out of the north.

The Mets’ 7-4 win on Wednesday was called in the seventh inning
because of a building rain storm, heavy winds, cold temperatures
and fog. The conditions persisted overnight in the Chicago area,
right up to the scheduled 2:20 p.m. EST first pitch.

The temperatures stayed crisp and the wind stout, but the rain

NOTES: Mets manager Terry Collins expects OF Angel Pagan
(strained left oblique) to rejoin the team Friday. … The Mets
have won five straight rain-shortened games dating to 2007. … The
Cubs have won 345 games to 344 for New York, with two ties, in a
rivalry that dates to 1962. … Thursday’s game snapped string of
10 straight night games for the Cubs, the longest such streak in
franchise history. … The Mets finished their six-game trip at
2-4, and now return to New York for a 10-game homestand beginning
Friday against Philadelphia. … The Cubs, in the midst of nine
straight at Wrigley, host Pittsburgh in a three-game series
beginning Friday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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