Bryant homers as Cubs beat Mets 4-3
CHICAGO (AP) Kris Bryant had the perfect housewarming gift for the renovated bleachers at Wrigley Field.
Bryant and Anthony Rizzo homered on consecutive pitches in the first, leading Jon Lester and the Chicago Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.
The Cubs opened the bleachers in left and center for the first time this season, and Bryant provided a stirring welcome with a two-run shot to left for the prospect's first homer at the cozy neighborhood ballpark.
''It's really nice for him to get that monkey off his back here at Wrigley,'' Rizzo said.
The outfield seating had been closed to the public while work continued on the aging facility. Another section in right should be finished this summer after bad weather and other issues delayed construction in the offseason.
After Bryant's second homer, Rizzo followed with a drive to right against Jacob deGrom (3-4). The All-Star first baseman is batting .333 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 11 games in May.
DeGrom allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked four.
The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year is 1-3 with a 5.64 ERA in his last four starts.
''It boils down to location,'' deGrom said. ''Tonight I struggled with it and I think that kind of gets me off my game plan. I can't throw the pitches I want for strikes and make some mistakes over the plate and they seem to hit a long way.''
Lester (3-2) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, and three relievers from Chicago's struggling bullpen closed it out. Justin Grimm and Zac Rosscup each got three outs before Hector Rondon finished the six-hitter for his seventh save in eight chances.
''You just want to hold onto the lead somehow,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ''And we did.''
With a runner on first and none out in the ninth, shortstop Starlin Castro made a diving catch to help thwart a potential Mets rally.
Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores hit consecutive homers in the sixth for New York, and Kevin Plawecki singled in a run in the fourth.
Chris Coghlan had two hits for Chicago, which had dropped three of four. Addison Russell had a two-out RBI single in the fifth.
Lester struck out six and walked four. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts in May.
''I think it was a story of good, bad and indifferent all in one,'' Lester said.
''It's something to build on, but the biggest thing is that we won.''
Mets: RHP Bobby Parnell, who is recovering from elbow surgery, pitched an inning in a rehab appearance with Class A St. Lucie. He allowed three runs and two hits. He also walked one and threw two wild pitches. ... RHP Buddy Carlyle left Monday's game with a stiff back. He's day-to-day.
RHP Noah Syndergaard, one of New York's top prospects, makes his major league debut on Tuesday night against Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (3-3, 3.41 ERA). Arrieta had dropped each of his last two starts.