Pete Alonso launched his major league-leading 19th home run and Carlos Carrasco earned his first win this season as the New York Mets routed the Chicago Cubs 10-1 on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Brett Baty knocked in New York's first two runs and the Mets pounded out 15 hits on a chilly night at Wrigley Field to ruin Kyle Hendricks’ season debut for the Cubs in his return from a serious shoulder injury.
Jeff McNeil had three hits and scored three times. New York got four straight base hits with two outs in a three-run third inning and took a 4-1 lead on Starling Marte's two-run single.
“We just put together good at-bats in some key situations and big moments there,” McNeil said after the Mets were outscored 11-4 in the first two games of the series. “We didn’t play the kind of baseball we wanted to the last few days. To get this win is big.”
Alonso added a two-run homer in the seventh and Brandon Nimmo laced a two-run triple in a three-run eighth.
Dansby Swanson homered in the first off Carrasco (1-2), who pitched 6 2/3 effective innings in his fifth start this year and second since missing about a month with an elbow injury. A 15-game winner in 2022, the veteran right-hander allowed five hits and struck out four with two walks in his longest outing of the season. He lowered his ERA to 6.75.
“I could throw everything for strikes today,” said Carrasco, who induced plenty of easy groundouts and fly balls. “When I have that kind of changeup, I don’t want to stop throwing them because I can get a lot of ground balls.”
The Mets improved to 12-0 when their starting pitcher goes at least six innings.
New York had dropped six in a row to the Cubs dating to last season.
Back from a capsular tear in his right shoulder, Hendricks (0-1) made his first start since June 5 last year. He gave up five runs — three earned — and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked two.
“At the end of the day, just getting to this point and getting back out there was No. 1,” Hendricks said.
END OF THE LINE
Christopher Morel went 0 for 3 for the Cubs, ending his 13-game hitting streak this season. Morel had hit safely in 14 straight overall, including last season’s finale.
Two-time All-Star Gary Sánchez was designated for assignment by the Mets when they reinstated fellow catcher Tomás Nido from the injured list before the game. Sánchez went 1 for 6 with three strikeouts and an RBI in three games with New York, looking shaky at times behind the plate.
Mets: Nido had been sidelined since May 7 due to dry eye syndrome. ... C Omar Narváez (calf) began a rehab assignment with Class A Brooklyn.
Cubs: INF Nick Madrigal was optioned to Triple-A Iowa before the game to open a roster spot for Hendricks.
Mets: Max Scherzer (2-3, 4.01 ERA) faces fellow right-hander Connor Seabold (1-1, 5.97) on Friday when the Mets open a series at Colorado.
Cubs: LHP Justin Steele (6-1, 2.20) opposes Cincinnati RHP Hunter Greene (0-4, 4.68) when the Cubs host the Reds.
New York Mets' Pete Alonso, center, celebrates with Brett Baty, left, and Jeff McNeil after hitting a two-run home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Thursday, May 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)