Lagares, Niese lead Mets past Cubs
Flushing, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Juan Lagares drove in two runs and scored once, while Jon Niese tossed six solid innings to help the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs, 7-3, in the second installment of a four-game series.
Niese (7-8) gave up three runs, struck out six and scattered seven hits in his second straight win after losing four starts in a row since returning from the disabled list.
Wilmer Flores also finished with two RBI, while Niese and Matt den Dekker each knocked in a run for the Mets, who have won two in a row after snapping a three-game losing streak on Friday.
David Wright was hit by a pitch in sixth inning. He stayed in the game to run the bases, eventually scoring, but was replaced by Eric Campbell at third to start the seventh.
Welington Castillo and Justin Ruggiano both homered and Ryan Sweeney singled in a run in a pinch-hit appearance for Chicago, which has dropped three in a row.
Dan Straily (0-1) took the loss in his first game for the Cubs since being acquired from Oakland in July. He gave up seven runs -- five earned -- on just four hits, while walking three over 5 1/3 innings.
"I was able to keep them off balance until I couldn't find the strike zone in the sixth," said Straily.
New York struck first with three runs in the second. Lucas Duda walked to lead off the inning. Travis d'Arnaud grounded into a fielder's choice, but den Dekker followed with a single to right. Lagares hit a fly ball that took one hop before going over the wall in right field for a ground-rule double, scoring d'Arnaud. Flores' line drive into center pushed den Dekker and Lagares across.
Castillo's lead-off homer in the fifth put the Cubs on the board, but Niese settled down to retire six straight from there.
After letting in the three runs, Straily retired the next 12 batters he faced until hitting Wright with a fastball in the sixth. He followed that with a walk to Duda and d'Arnaud hit a line drive into left to load the bases. Straily conceded a run by walking den Dekker before being removed.
Kyuji Fujikawa took over on the mound and Lagares greeted him with a line drive to right center, where Arismendy Alcantara had the ball bounce off his glove for an error. Duda and d'Arnaud scored on the play, with Lagares ending up at second. Fujikawa intentionally walked Flores to load the bases again. Rizzo fielded a ground ball by Niese at first, tagged the bag and threw home, but den Dekker slid in safely to make it 7-1. Wesley Wright replaced Fujikawa and got Curtis Granderson to ground out to end the inning.
Ruggiano hit a towering shot to center to lead off the away seventh. Alcantara, Castillo and Chris Valaika followed with three consecutive singles, loading the bases before Sweeney hit a line drive that deflected off of Niese for single that scored Alcantara.
Niese didn't appear to be injured on the play, however, he was replaced by Vic Black, who retired the next three batters to end the inning.
"The job he's done to come in with guys on base is truly amazing," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Black."He has not flinched. His command is 10 times better when there are guys on. I don't know if he's so focused that he has to get outs, but he's pitched brilliantly."
Straily made his first start since May 7 with Oakland ... Starlin Castro went 0-for-4 and had his hitting streak end at 14 games ... The Cubs outhit the Mets 7-3, but were just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position in the loss. The Mets were 3-for-5 with RISP.
08/17 00:15:09 ET