Final Score: Chicago 2, New York 1
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) – Nate Schierholtz drove in the winning run in the ninth inning to help the Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 win over the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game series.
With Scott Rice (1-2) on the mound, Anthony Rizzo led off with a single. Starlin Castro then hit a grounder to third that David Wright had trouble with and only got the out at first.
Luis Valbuena then struck out and Rice had Schierholtz facing an 0-2 count, but Schierholtz smacked a single into right and Rizzo easily scored for the victory.
Chris Coghlan tied the game in the eighth inning with a solo home run and Hector Rondon (1-1) grabbed the win for tossing a scoreless ninth inning for the Cubs, who had lost four of five coming in.
Curtis Granderson went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Matt den Dekker added two hits and a run scored for the Mets, who came into the series having taken four of five from the Phillies.
Chicago starter Jake Arrieta pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up a run on seven hits. Zack Wheeler tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings for New York and allowed just two hits and two walks along with seven strikeouts.
The Mets got on board in the first as den Dekker led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Granderson’s sac fly.
The Cubs did not get a man to second until the eighth when Coghlan led off the frame with his first homer of the year. Emilio Bonifacio singled with two outs later in the frame and stole second, but Junior Lake struck out to end the inning.
New York left men on second and third in the second, and came away with no runs in the third after loading the bases with no outs. Chris Young hit into a 1-2 fielder’s choice, Lucas Duda popped out to short, and Wilmer Flores lined out back to the mound.
“In the third inning we let some runs get away from us and it came back to bite us,” said New York manager Terry Collins. “We left too many guys on base tonight.
The Mets went just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men on base.
These teams split six games last season … Before the contest, the Cubs activated Rondon from the paternity list, selected the contract of catcher Eli Whiteside from Triple-A Iowa (PCL), placed catcher Welington Castillo on the 15-day disabled list and designated pitcher Jose Veras for assignment.