Zobrist hits RBI single in 11th, Cubs beat Mets 2-1
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs were pounding out lopsided victories and squeezing out tight games while putting together their longest winning streak of the season.
Todd Frazier brought it to a screeching halt. Even so, the Cubs weren’t complaining.
Frazier hit a grand slam and drove in a season-high five runs to lead the New York Mets to a 10-3 victory over Chicago on Wednesday, avenging a tough loss earlier in the day.
The Cubs had won a season-high seven in a row after pulling out a 2-1 victory earlier Wednesday on Ben Zobrist’s RBI single with the bases loaded in the 11th. That game was suspended in the top of the 10th because of rain the previous night.
The scheduled meeting didn’t go nearly as well for the NL Central leaders. They couldn’t close out a perfect homestand after sweeping the first four games against Cincinnati and taking two more from New York. But they felt charged and ready for a season-long 11-day, 11-game trip that starts Thursday at Atlanta.
“I feel like we’re in a good spot,” Zobrist said. “There’s definitely a few guys that are grinding still. But we as a team, I think we feel good. We feel upbeat and excited about where we’re headed.”
Frazier gave New York a 4-0 lead in the first inning with his drive against Alec Mills and added an RBI single in a two-run ninth.
Jason Vargas (5-8) won his third straight start. The Mets pounded out 16 hits and avoided a season sweep after dropping the first six games against the NL Central leaders.
Vargas gave up one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking two. The veteran left-hander has a 1.62 ERA in his past three outings.
Mills (0-1) scattered five hits over five innings in his second major league start and did not allow a run after Frazier’s grand slam.
He walked Michael Conforto with two outs in the first to load the bases. Frazier then launched a 2-0 pitch toward the back of the left-field bleachers — his fourth career grand slam and first since he hit one for the White Sox at Texas on May 9, 2016.
“To get us kick-started there was nice, and then to give Vargas a cushion there so he can make some pitches and take a chance on some guys,” Frazier said. “That’s what we have to do every day as hitters.”
“He’s playing with a lot of mental energy right now, too,” manager Joe Maddon said. “(I) talk to him all the time. He’s definitely totally engaged. And I think, again, he’s fresh. I don’t see him as being beaten up right now. That’s my biggest concern moving forward.”
New York’s Jacob deGrom went eight innings, allowing one run and eight hits. He struck out 10 and walked one while lowering his ERA to 1.68. He also had two hits, including an RBI single to the shortstop in the sixth.
Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman (strep throat) and C Devin Mesoraco (stiff neck) sat out. Mesoraco was available, and Gsellman could have come on in an emergency, manager Mickey Callaway said. … 3B David Wright went 0 for 5 in his second rehab game with Triple-A Las Vegas. He played nine innings at third base.
Cubs: 3B Kris Bryant (left shoulder inflammation) was to play in one of two games for Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday while LHP Brian Duensing (left shoulder inflammation) was also scheduled to pitch for the minor league club. … Closer Brandon Morrow (right biceps inflammation) threw off flat ground from 105 feet. … SS Addison Russell (sprained left middle finger, right shoulder inflammation) played catch.
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (9-6, 3.46 ERA) — 7-0 in his past 11 starts — looks to extend his unbeaten streak as New York opens a three-game series at San Francisco on Friday. LHP Andrew Suarez (5-9, 4.42) pitches for the Giants.
Cubs: LHP Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.62) is expected to be activated from the disabled list after being sidelined because of left shoulder inflammation when the Cubs visit Atlanta on Thursday. RHP Mike Foltynewicz (10-8, 2.67) pitches for the Braves.