Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Carlos Zambrano allowed two runs in seven strong innings, and the Chicago Cubs ensured themselves a series victory with a 5-3 win over the New York Mets at Wrigley Field.
Zambrano (7-6) struck out eight and walked two while allowing four hits for the Cubs, who are 8-3 under interim manager Mike Quade. In six starts since coming off the restricted list due to anger management issues, Zambrano is 4-0 with a 1.98 earned run average.
Aramis Ramirez added a solo homer for the Cubs, while Carlos Marmol notched his 27th save of the season.
Jenrry Mejia (0-3) made his first career start for the Mets and yielded four runs, eight hits and two walks while fanning two in five frames. The 20-year- old became the youngest starter in team history since Dwight Gooden debuted as a 19-year-old in 1984.
Ike Davis hit his 16th homer for New York, which fell to a dreadful 1-15-4 in NL road series this season.
Chicago jumped on top with a run in the second inning.
Xavier Nady singled to center with one away and came around to score on a two- out double to left by Geovany Soto.
In the third, Marlon Byrd singled with one out, went to third on a Ramirez double and scored to make it 2-0 on Nady’s sacrifice fly.
The Mets finally got on the board in the fourth. With runners on the corners and one out, Lucas Duda struck out, but New York executed a successful double steal, with Luis Castillo scoring on the play.
New York couldn’t tie the game, though, and Chicago increased its lead with a two-run fifth.
Starlin Castro singled and stole second and come home on Byrd’s double to right. Byrd took third on a fly out, and, with two outs, scored when Tyler Colvin reached on a wild pitch third strike for a 4-1 advantage.
The teams traded solo homers in the seventh. Davis’ one-out blast for the Mets made it a two-run game before Ramirez restored the three-run cushion with a leadoff shot in the home half.
New York crept closer on Carlos Beltran’s RBI double in the eighth, and Davis’ one-out single off Marmol in the ninth brought the tying run to the plate. Josh Thole and Mike Hessman, however, both struck out looking to end the threat.
Quade is the first Cubs manager to start 8-3 since Jim Essian in 1991…Zambrano passed Kerry Wood for third on the team’s all-time strikeout list. He now has 1,411…The Mets are 10-21 in their last 31 road contests…Castro went 2-for-4, extending his streak of multi-hit games to six…Mejia made 30 relief appearances for the Mets earlier this season, going 0-2 with a 3.25 ERA…The season series is tied, 3-3.