Mets sweep away Cubs, 14-3
NEW YORK – The Mets’ sweep of this four-game series became a near certainty after just two innings. They had already slugged three home runs. They had racked up nine hits and scored eight times. They had driven Cubs starter Jon Lester from the game after handing him one of the worst starts of his career. The Mets had already turned this game into a blowout. Their domination of Chicago continued as they rode a seven-run second inning to a 14-3 victory Sunday before a crowd of 36,137 fans at Citi Field. Wilmer Flores went 6-for-6, becoming the first Met since Edgardo Alfonzo in 1999 to have six hits in a game. His career day included two home runs and four RBI, while Curtis Granderson, Rene Rivera and Kelly Johnson also homered. The Mets (44-37) finished with 22 hits, matching a franchise record for most hits in a home game set in 1981. The Cubs (51-30) actually struck first, as Jason Heyward hit a one-out double off Noah Syndergaard in the first and scored on Anthony Rizzo’s single. Granderson’s solo shot in the bottom of the inning tied the game at 1. Then the Mets’ offense exploded in the second. Flores led off with a homer. Matt Reynolds hit a one-out double and Rivera hit a two-run shot. After Syndergaard walked, Lagares doubled and Granderson singled. Yoenis Cespedes then delivered a two-run single and Neil Walker and Flores each drove in a run with singles of their own. Flores’ single ended Lester’s disastrous outing. The left-hander had given up eight runs after allowing seven the entire month of June. Lester also hadn’t yielded more than two home runs in a start all season, and he served up three in two innings on Sunday. Spencer Patton came in, and finally got out of the inning. The Mets sent 13 batters to the plate during the frame, which ended with a standing ovation from the crowd. And they weren’t finished, either. Rivera had an RBI single in the fourth, and Flores hit a two-run homer in the fifth. After pinch-hitter Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch in the seventh, Kelly Johnson hit a pinch-hit, two-run shot to put the Mets up, 13-1. James Loney’s RBI single in the eighth capped the scoring. After giving up a run in the first, Syndergaard never faltered again. Pitching for the first time since it was revealed he has a bone spur in his elbow, the right-hander allowed seven hits while striking out eight batters. He didn’t issue a walk in his 84-pitch outing.