Nimmo hits 1st HR, 1 of 5 as Mets rout Cubs 10-2
NEW YORK (AP) Brandon Nimmo sent the ball soaring toward the Chicago Cubs' bullpen and started sprinting.
''Hey, I've never hit a major league home run before, so I don't know what that feels like,'' he said. ''So, out of the box, I'm going. I was floating around the bases there. I didn't know what I was doing.''
The 23-year-old rookie's three-run homer in the fourth inning was one of five home runs by the New York Mets off Jason Hammel in a 10-2 victory Friday night that ended Jacob deGrom's 10-start winless streak.
Nimmo, who made his big league debut Sunday and played his first home game Thursday, pulled a 92 mph fastball to right-center for a 7-1 lead. The ball traveled 442 feet, according to MLB's Statcast, and Nimmo darted past first base with the joy of a kid before slowing only slightly as he rounded the bases in just over 17 seconds.
Prodded by bench coach Dick Scott, Nimmo walked up the dugout steps for a curtain call when Neil Walker already was in the batter's box. A native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Nimmo was in awe of the big city reaction.
''It just never occurred to me that I'd ever get a curtain call, and to be able to get that in the second game here in Citi Field is just amazing,'' he said with an ever-present smile.
Then in the fifth, Nimmo dashed from right field close to the foul line to make a diving catch on Hammel's liner, flipping the ball into the stands as he ran back to the Mets dugout.
A home run, curtain and web gem, all in a 9-minute span.
''It's always nice to have those young guys come up, because they bring energy,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Nimmo's home run was picked up by a security guard who gave the ball to bullpen coach Ricky Bones. During the next rain delay, Bones gave it to Nimmo, the 13th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. It will go to Nimmo's parents.
James Loney and Asdrubal Cabrera hit consecutive homers in the second, just before a 68-minute rain delay, and Cabrera hit a two-run drive in the fourth, shortly after Yoenis Cespedes' solo shot. New York hit five homers at home for the first time in 16 years, and Cespedes reached 20 homers in a season for the fifth time.
DeGrom (4-4) allowed one run and three hits in five-plus innings - Kris Bryant's NL-high 23rd homer - and left after the third delay, which brought the total to 1 hour, 19 minutes in a game that ended at 12:05 a.m. He had been 0-4 since beating San Francisco on April 30 despite a 3.13 ERA over that 10-start span. The Mets had scored three runs in his previous five outings.
DeGrom's fastball velocity, down earlier this season, often reached 96 mph.
''I'm finally starting to get everything in line, and I'm not falling as hard off to first-base side,'' deGrom said. ''I felt like I wasn't trying to throw as hard, and it was coming out better.''
Hammel (7-5) was tagged for career highs of 10 runs and five homers, allowing nine hits in four innings as his ERA rose from 2.58 to 3.45. He is 0-4 in five starts since a win June 4 over Arizona.
''I'm almost at a loss for words just because of how bad it was,'' Hammel said.
STOP AND START
The game was delayed 11 minutes at the start, again after two innings and yet again for 40 minutes in the sixth.
HOME RUN DERBY
New York hit five home runs in a home game for the fifth time, the first since June 26, 2000, against the Florida at Shea Stadium. The Mets hit consecutive home runs for the ninth time this season, and Cabrera had his first multihomer game since 2013. ... Needing a triple for a cycle, Loney grounded out in the sixth and eighth.
Seth Lugo, a 26-year-old right-hander, made his big league debut with two innings of two-hit relief. Lugo is the first Mets player to wear No. 67 in a regular-season game.
Mets: OF Juan Lagares, who hasn't played for the Mets since June 14 because of a sprained left thumb, will be activated no later than Sunday's game against the Cubs and LHP Jon Lester. ... OF Curtis Granderson, who hasn't played since Wednesday, remains sidelined by a right calf strain. He will be evaluated again Saturday. ... LHP Steven Matz (bone spur in his pitching elbow) took anti-inflammatory medication before his start Thursday. ''I would say every five days he'll be taking something,'' Collins said.
RHP Jake Arrieta (12-2) is to start for the Cubs on Saturday night and RHP Bartolo Colon (6-4) for the Mets.