Mets rally to beat Cubs

Pitchers' duel between Arrieta, Syndergaard.
New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera singles in the seventh inning Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. His single in the ninth proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 victory.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera singles in the seventh inning Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. His single in the ninth proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 victory.

Catcher Rene Rivera usually leaves enough of an imprint on games with his defensive prowess, but his bat let the Mets steal a win Tuesday night.

Rivera had the go-ahead RBI single in the ninth and also made a nice play at the plate to help New York to a 2-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Rivera went 3-for-4 and laced his winning hit with two outs well after Noah Syndergaard labored through 52⁄3 innings.

Jeurys Familia loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but escaped to record his 33rd consecutive save this season and 49th straight in the regular season.

Syndergaard allowed one unearned run in his matchup with Jake Arrieta, and the Mets (50-43) will try to take the series in Wednesday afternoon’s finale.

This was Syndergaard’s first start of the second half and first since leaving his last start before the All-Star break with fatigue in his right arm. Syndergaard, who didn’t pitch in the All-Star Game, said Friday he was fine following the four-day break and felt as if he had a new arm.

Syndergaard pitched out of the stretch for most of the night, but squashed almost all of the Cubs’ rallies. He bent but didn’t break during Chicago’s onslaught at the beginning of the game. He allowed seven hits and walked two while striking out eight.

The first two Cubs reached on singles, but Syndergaard responded by striking out Anthony Rizzo and retiring Ben Zobrist and Wilson Contreras.

After allowing a single and double to start the second, Syndergaard induced a fielder’s choice to get the lead runner off third, and left the bases loaded when Kris Bryant flied out to center. Syndergaard held the Cubs 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the first two innings.

The Cubs finally got on the board in the third on a throwing error by Rivera. Syndergaard allowed a two-out double to Contreras, who took off for third when Syndergaard threw a wild pitch. Rivera picked up the ball with his back to third and threw without setting, and his throw went into left and allowed Contreras to score.

Rivera made up for his mistake in the next inning with a fantastic tag to nail Arrieta when he tried to score on a single to right with two outs. Michael Conforto’s throw went toward the third-base line, but Rivera made a nice adjustment.

The Cubs pushed Syndergaard’s pitch count to 79 through four innings and Mets manager Terry Collins said before the game he was concerned how his ace would fare after 75 pitches. Syndergaard’s velocity started dipping at that point in his previous start.

Syndergaard fired his first clean inning in the fifth, then allowed a walk while striking out two in the sixth to end his night after 105 pitches. The Cubs went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position against him.

The starter’s gritty effort mattered on this night because he opposed Arrieta, and rallies were hard to come by against the reigning Cy Young Award winner. The Mets carried a two-game winning streak against Arrieta with wins in Game 2 of the NLCS and an earlier encounter this season.

The Mets tagged Arrieta for four runs in 5 1⁄3 innings July 2.

Arrieta retired 12 straight Mets from the first to fifth innings, but New York finally tagged him for a run in the sixth. Jose Reyes led off by tripling into right on a 1-2 pitch, and Curtis Granderson followed with a sacrifice fly to center to tie it up.

The Mets had a chance in the seventh by putting the go-ahead run at second with two outs, but Arrieta fanned Alejandro De Aza.

NY METS CHICAGO

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Reyes 3b 4 1 1 0 LaStlla 3b 3 0 2 0

Grndrsn cf 3 0 0 1 Strop rp 0 0 0 0

Cspds lf 4 0 1 0 Rondon rp 0 0 0 0

Loney 1b 4 0 1 0 Szczur ph 1 0 0 0

Walker 2b 4 1 1 0 Bryant rf 5 0 2 0

Cabrera ss 4 0 1 0 Rizzo 1b 4 0 0 0

Cnfrt rf 3 0 0 0 Zobrist 2b 4 0 0 0

Rivera c 4 0 3 1 Contrrs lf 3 1 1 0

Syndrgrd sp 2 0 0 0 Heyward cf 4 0 1 0

Blevins rp 0 0 0 0 Russell ss 3 0 1 0

De Aza ph 1 0 0 0 Montero c 3 0 0 0

Robles rp 0 0 0 0 AlmorJr pr 0 0 0 0

Johnson ph 0 0 0 0 Arrieta sp 2 0 1 0

Baez ph 2 0 1 0

Totals 33 2 8 2 Totals 34 1 9 0

NY Mets 000 001 001—2

Chi. Cubs 001 000 000—1

E—Rivera 1. LOB—Chicago 0, New York 0. 2B—Arrieta (2), Contreras (6), Russell (13). 3B—Reyes (1). SB—Contreras (1).

IP H R ER BB SO

NY Mets

Syndergrd 5 2-3 7 1 0 2 8

Blevins 1-3 0 0 0 0 0

Robles W, 4-3 2 1 0 0 0 1

Familia S, 33 1 1 0 0 2 0

Chi. Cubs

Arrieta 7 5 1 1 1 8

Strop 1 0 0 0 0 1

H.Rndon L, 1-2 2-3 3 1 1 0 1

Inherited runners-scored—Blevins 1-0. WP—Syndergaard 2 (9).

Umpires—Home, Eric Cooper; First, Jim Wolf; Second, Gabe Morales; Third, Gary Cederstrom.

T—3:04. A—41,456 (42,157).

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