Jeff McNeil starred at the plate and in the field Friday afternoon for the New York Mets, hitting a home run and later adding a go-ahead RBI single before making a key defensive play to end the eighth inning of the Mets’ 5-4 victory over the host Chicago Cubs.
The Mets ended a two-game losing streak and won for just the second time in six games. The Cubs had their two-game winning streak snapped as they lost for the seventh time in 11 games.
The two-hit game was the fourth straight multi-hit effort for McNeil, who has 47 multi-hit games in his first 125 big league games – the most ever by a Mets player in that game span.
McNeil, who was a second baseman in the minor leagues before being moved to left field following the December acquisition of Robinson Cano, made his first career start in right field Friday but saved his best defensive play after moving back to left.
The defensive gem helped preserve a win for Brooks Pounders (1-0), who tossed 1 1/3 perfect innings in relief of starter Jason Vargas. Seth Lugo threw two scoreless innings before Edwin Diaz earned his 16th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
McNeil’s RBI single off Mike Montgomery in the seventh provided the fourth and final lead change.
The Mets went up 1-0 on a run-scoring double play in the first by Dominic Smith. The Cubs scored twice in the second on an RBI groundout by Albert Almora Jr. and a run-scoring single by pitcher Yu Darvish.
Brad Brach (3-2) took the loss for the Cubs after allowing a run in two-thirds of an inning.
Vargas allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three over 4 2/3 innings. Darvish allowed four runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six over six innings. It was the 10th straight no-decision for Darvish, tying the big league record.
In 15 starts on the season, Darvish has a 2-3 record.
–Field Level Media
|McNeil rf-lf||5||1||2||3||Schwrbr lf||4||0||0||0|
|Ed.Diaz p||0||0||0||0||Bryant rf||4||0||1||0|
|P.Alnso 1b||4||0||0||0||Rizzo 1b||4||0||1||0|
|Cano 2b||4||0||1||0||J.Baez ss||3||1||0||0|
|Cnforto cf-rf||3||2||1||1||Cntrras c||4||0||1||0|
|J..Dvis 3b||2||0||1||0||Bote 3b||3||1||0||0|
|T.Frzer 3b||0||0||0||0||Almr Jr cf||3||0||0||1|
|D.Smith lf||4||0||0||0||Brach p||0||0||0||0|
|Lagares cf||0||0||0||0||Mntgmry p||0||0||0||0|
|Hchvrri ss||4||1||1||0||Wick p||0||0||0||0|
|Nido c||4||1||1||0||Cratini ph||1||0||0||0|
|J.Vrgas p||2||0||0||0||Darvish p||2||1||2||1|
|Punders p||0||0||0||0||Dscalso ph||0||0||0||0|
|A.Rsrio ph||1||0||0||0||Heyward cf||2||0||0||0|
|S.Lugo p||0||0||0||0||Russell 2b||3||1||1||2|
E_Bote (8), J..Davis (5), Hechavarria (5). DP_Chicago 1. LOB_New York 5, Chicago 4. 2B_Cano (16), Bryant (20). HR_McNeil (5), Conforto (15), Russell (5). SB_J.Baez (4), Bote (2).
Umpires_Home, Larry Vanover; First, Alfonso Marquez; Second, Dan Bellino; Third, Dave Rackley.
T_3:11. A_41,078 (41,649).