Cubs rally for 6-5 win, 4-game sweep of Mets
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs believe that no deficit is too big for them to overcome. They're starting to back up that belief with their play on the field.
Dexter Fowler scored the tiebreaking run on a passed ball in the seventh inning and also homered, and the Cubs rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the New York Mets 6-5 on Thursday, completing a four-game sweep.
''When we get down nobody's panicking, nobody's saying, `We can't do this,''' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ''I think there was a great believability in the group that we could do it, and obviously we did.''
Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Matt Szczur each had RBI hits as the Cubs earned their first four-game sweep of New York since August 1992. The win also was the 800th for Maddon as a manager.
Anthony Recker had a pair of solo home runs to pace the Mets, but the backup catcher's failure to hold onto a slider from reliever Hansel Robles in the seventh allowed the go-ahead run to score.
With runners at the corners and two outs, Robles' pitch just off the plate deflected off Recker's glove and rolled toward the first base dugout as Fowler scored easily from third.
''It's just frustrating to be a part of letting the winning run cross the plate on a play that, obviously, should have been made, and is usually made,'' Recker said.
Pedro Strop (1-2) pitched 1 1-3 hitless innings for the win. Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his eighth save.
Mets starter Jonathon Niese (3-3) allowed six runs - four earned - in 6 1-3 innings to take the loss despite being staked to a 5-1 lead.
Recker started the scoring with a solo shot in the second inning. Two innings later, Wilmer Flores and Recker had back-to-back drives for a 3-0 lead.
The Cubs got a run back in the bottom of the fourth on a solo homer by Fowler, but the Mets stretched the lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning on a two-out, two-run single by John Mayberry Jr.
A four-run lead appeared safe the way Niese, who entered with a 1.95 ERA, cruised through the first four innings - one hit allowed and just 39 pitches thrown - but the Cubs sent nine men to the plate in the bottom of the fifth and tied the score at 5.
The Chicago bullpen then blanked the Mets for the final four innings.
Fowler, who scored three runs, was asked what he sees in the young Cubs. ''I see heart,'' he said. ''I see every guy just trying to do their job, and nobody's trying to do too much, which is awesome.''
Maddon was asked afterward if he remembered his first win. ''That's getting rather personal,'' he said with a smile.
Actually, he did: It came in 1996 at Yankee Stadium when he was the interim manager of the Angels. He went 8-14 that season.
Mets: CF Juan Lagares missed his third straight game with a strain of the upper right side, but is expected to return on Friday. ... RHP Buddy Carlyle (back spasms) was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 12).
Cubs: 2B Tommy La Stella (strained oblique) was sent to Double-A Tennessee on Thursday for a rehab assignment and will be in the lineup on Friday . C David Ross left in the eighth inning with abdominal tightness.
Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (6-1, 3.30) will attempt to become the majors first seven-game winner in the opener of a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. RHP Kyle Lohse (2-4, 7.03) goes for the Brewers.
Cubs: The homestand continues with three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates. RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 4.65) still is looking for his first win of the season. He faces LHP Jeff Locke (2-2, 4.71) in the opener on Friday.