|11:20 AM PT12:20 PM MT1:20 PM CT2:20 PM ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 AM MST1:20 PM EST1:50 PM VEN22:20 UAE12:20 PM CT, July 16, 2022
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 39,219
Alonso, Ottavino lead Mets in DH opener; Cubs 8th L in row
By JAY COHEN
CHICAGO (AP) Pete Alonso hit a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning after Adam Ottavino worked out of a tricky jam, helping the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Saturday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
The Cubs lost their eighth in a row.
Alonso, who also drove in New York's first run in the fourth, came up with runners on the corners and no outs in the 11th. He lofted a medium flyball to right against Mychal Givens (5-1), and Luis Guillorme scampered home with the go-ahead run.
All-Star closer Edwin Diaz then got three outs for his 20th save for the NL East leaders.
Chicago had five hits, one more than New York. The Cubs had a chance to close it out in the 10th, but Ottavino (4-2) retired three in a row after pinch-runner Nelson Velazquez stole third.
"A lot of it kind of depends on where the balls are hit, so it's not all up to you," Ottavino said. "But you got to try to attack and do your best with it, and I was lucky to get out of there."
Patrick Wisdom struck out swinging and P.J. Higgins looked at a called third strike. Rookie Christopher Morel then hit a grounder to third, and Eduardo Escobar made a scrambling stop and a one-hop throw that a stretching J.D. Davis backhanded at first.
Davis entered the game when Dominic Smith rolled his right ankle while scrambling back to second as the automatic runner in the 10th.
"It was just one of those days where we didn't score that many runs but played great defense and the pitching did their job," Davis said.
New York got another solid performance by Taijuan Walker, who pitched six innings of four-hit ball. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last seven starts.
"I finally feel like I've been able to put everything together," Walker said.
Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman pitched 4 1/3 innings of one-hit ball in his second start since coming off the injured list. He had been sidelined by right shoulder inflammation.
Stroman played for New York in 2019 and 2021 before signing with Chicago in December. He brushed off the significance of facing his former team.
"It's the same mentality, mind frame for me going into each and every game," he said.
Cubs manager David Ross was ejected by umpire Ramon De Jesus after the second inning. Each side had issues with De Jesus' strike zone at various points.
Ross also was ejected from the series opener. Friday afternoon's game was postponed by rain, leading to the doubleheader.
"There were two balls to Higgy that were balls, and I was just saying, 'Hey, that should have been 2-0,'" Ross said. "He threw me out. I didn't cuss or didn't say anything derogatory. I don't know if it was a carryover from the other day, getting ejected."
New York jumped in front on Alonso's double in the fourth, a liner into the gap in right-center that drove in Francisco Lindor from first. Alonso's 15th double this season gave him 75 RBIs, snapping a tie with David Wright for the franchise record before the All-Star break.
Chicago got its only run in the bottom half. Nico Hoerner reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and scored when Frank Schwindel beat a shift with a bouncer into center for an RBI single.
The Cubs brought up left-hander Steven Brault from Triple-A Iowa. Right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. was sent down, and right-hander Matt Swarmer was designated for assignment.
Brault, 30, signed a minor league contract in March. He missed the first three months of the season with a left triceps strain.
Right-hander Anderson Espinoza served as the 27th man for the Cubs for the doubleheader, and right-hander Yoan Lopez was the 27th man for the Mets.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (stress reaction, right scapula) is slated to throw live BP on Tuesday in Florida. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner pitched four innings of one-run ball in a rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday. ... Smith had a little swelling, and manager Buck Showalter said he was going to get a picture of his injured ankle. "He rolled it pretty good," Showalter said.
Right-hander Max Scherzer (6-1, 2.15 ERA) starts the second game for New York, and left-hander David Peterson (5-2, 3.48 ERA) takes the mound in Sunday's series finale. Left-hander Drew Smyly (2-5, 4.43 ERA) starts for Chicago in the nightcap, and right-hander Adrian Sampson (0-1, 3.33 ERA) pitches on Sunday.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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Updated July 16, 2022