Anthony Rizzo homers, Carlos Marmol hangs on as Cubs edge Mets
BY RICK FREEMAN Associated Press July 6, 2012 9:56PM
Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo follows through on a single during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Friday, July 6, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Updated: July 6, 2012 10:03PM
NEW YORK — Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer, and Cubs closer Carlos Marmol caught a line drive to start a game-ending double play that blunted the New York Mets’ bid for another ninth-inning comeback, giving the Cubs an 8-7 win Friday night.
Travis Wood won his fourth straight start while Mets star Johan Santana was tagged for a career high-tying 13 hits in only 4 2-3 innings.
A night after they got two runs with two outs in the ninth to beat Philadelphia closer Jonathan Papelbon, the Mets scored three times off a wild Marmol.
But with runners at first and second, Lucas Duda hit a liner up the middle that Marmol speared and flipped to first for the final out.
Reed Johnson led off the game with a homer, had four hits of Chicago’s season-high 18 hits and scored three runs. Rizzo, the Cubs’ most hyped prospect this season, singled in the eighth for the first four-hit game of his big league career.
Rizzo and Jeff Baker each homered in a five-run fifth inning that made it 7-2. The Cubs held on to win for the eighth time in 11 games and sent the Mets to their third loss in nine games.
Wood (4-3) allowed two earned runs and was removed after walking pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin to start the seventh.
Marmol had a shaky ninth. Entering with a four-run lead, he gave up a solo homer to Valdespin with one out in the ninth, then walked Ruben Tejada, pinch hitter Daniel Murphy and David Wright to load the bases.
Pinch-hitter Ike Davis followed with a single, bringing up Duda.
In the fifth, Santana fell awkwardly while trying to cover first base on an infield grounder by Johnson. Preparing to take the throw from first baseman Justin Turner, Santana reached out with his foot and appeared to jam it against the bag, then couldn’t handle the toss with his bare hand and fell on his side. He took two warmup pitches and remained in the game, but gave up two homers and four more singles after that.
Santana (6-5) left after Luis Valbuena’s RBI single. Valbuena was thrown out trying to take second and Wood was coming to the plate with two outs, but manager Terry Collins pulled him anyway.
Johnson’s grounder to start the fifth was ruled a single, and Santana allowed another single to Darwin Barney before Rizzo’s drive. One out later, Baker hit a solo shot and then Geovany Soto, Joe Mather and Valbuena singled.
The Mets went ahead 2-1 on Duda’s solo homer in the second and Ronny Cedeno’s RBI double in the third.
Mike Nickeas added a sacrifice fly in the sixth for an unearned run against Wood. Alfonso Soriano tacked on a run with a bases-loaded bloop single in the eighth to make it 8-3.
Turner hit an RBI single in the eighth for his fourth hit of the game.
NOTES: Cubs manager Dale Sveum says RHP Ryan Dempster will start Sunday, and be limited to 70-80 pitches. The right-hander is on the DL because of a tight back muscle. ... Cubs SS Starlin Castro did not start for the first time this season. Sveum said he wanted to watch the game and discuss scenarios with the young star, who has been prone to mental gaffes in the field. He entered in a double switch in the 7th and played SS. He reached on an infield single with two outs in the ninth. ... Johnson’s last leadoff homer also came against Santana — July 23, 2007, when Johnson played for the Blue Jays and Santana for the Twins. ... Mets manager Terry Collins said OF Jason Bay would take batting practice, run, and do “some defensive stuff” as he tries to come back from his second concussion. He also missed six weeks this season with a broken rib, and is hitting .187 with four HRs and six RBIs in 22 games this season. ... New York wore blue jerseys trimmed in orange with “Los Mets” on the front, a rare departure from the home whites this season. ... Duda’s homer was his 12th of the season. ... Santana last allowed 13 hits on July 28, 2010 against St. Louis. ... Rizzo has reached base safely in all 10 Cubs games he’s played in this season.