Major League Baseball
- Wrigley Field FIRST PITCH -
NY Mets Mets
ML: NYM +136
Chi. Cubs Cubs
ML: CHC -148
Scoring Leaders
Michael Conforto
#30 PH Michael Conforto Avg RBI 1.000 0
Wilmer Flores
#4 1B Wilmer Flores Avg RBI .500 1
Curtis Granderson
#3 RF Curtis Granderson Avg RBI .250 0
Matt Szczur
#20 RF Matt Szczur Avg RBI .750 0
Javier Baez
#9 2B Javier Baez Avg RBI .500 0
Kris Bryant
#17 3B Kris Bryant Avg RBI .333 0

CHICAGO -- There may have been a handful of pitches that Jon Lester didn't care for but he's not about to complain about Monday's result.

The Chicago Cubs left hander returned to late spring form with an efficient 7 2/3 inning outing while Anthony Rizzo clubbed his 22nd home run of the season in a 5-1 victory over the New York Mets.

"There's a few things in there I need to dust off," said Lester, now 10-4 after picking up his first victory since June 18. "It seemed like delivery wise it kind of hurt me throughout (with) walks and rhythm stuff, but I gave K.B. (third baseman Kris Bryant) a lot of ground balls tonight which usually means I'm throwing the ball pretty well."

Cubs closer Hector Rondon faced one batter in the ninth to earn his 16th save as Travis d'Arnaud grounded into a game-ending double play.

Rizzo homered for the first time since July 8 at Pittsburgh as the Cubs (56-36) won their fourth in five games while snapping an eight-game losing streak against the Mets.

Matt Szczur went 3-for-4 for his first career three-hit game and Javier Baez added two hits while each scored a run.

The Mets (49-43) suffered their fourth loss in their last six.

New York starter Steven Matz (7-6) was pulled in the bottom of the sixth after giving up a lead-off double to Szczur.

Catcher David Ross then sacrificed to center in the sixth off reliever Seth Lugo to drive in Szczur for a 4-0 lead. It was Ross' first game since July 5 after he missed part of the span while on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Matz allowed four runs on eight hits in his five-plus inning outing, striking out five and walking one

"Even though I thought he (Matz) threw the ball fine, I didn't think he had his real Grade A stuff," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "He battled as best he could. Hopefully he's feeling okay after this. It was good work for him tonight."

The Mets got one run back on Wilmer Flores' first-pitch leadoff home run to left in the seventh, cutting the deficit to 4-1. It turned out to be New York's lone run.

Lester left in the eighth after giving up a two-out single to Curtis Granderson. He allowed one run on four hits, walked three and struck out three.

"He got out of some jams early with some good pitches," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. "We made some double plays. We played great defense again. But Jon really matched up well. He got into a nice little groove there after he got out of those couple of moments."

Lester had a run of five straight victories in June on the way to being named NL pitcher of the month. He followed with three no-decisions and a loss over the next four -- including a 1 1/3-inning outing in a blowout loss to the Mets.

"Obviously Jon pitched much better tonight, really located it better than he did in New York," Collins said.

The Cubs added a final run as Albert Almora Jr's single scored Szczur with two out in the eighth.

The Mets failed to score despite having opportunities in the early innings.

The Cubs hit Matz for three runs in the third as Rizzo launched a 2-2 offering on the 10th pitch of the at-bat to the right-field bleachers.

Rizzo's one-out blast brought home Baez, who had walked, and Bryant, who was awarded first after he was hit by a pitch.

Chicago manager Joe Maddon was impressed the resiliency of RIzzo, who fouled off six pitches, including five straight before his homer.

"Don't underestimate a great at-bat by Rizzo," Maddon said. "That was fabulous."

NOTES: The three-game series with the Cubs is the second set involving the teams this season. The Mets won all four in New York while Chicago claimed all seven regular-season games last year before being swept in the 2015 National League Championship Series. ... New York OF Curtis Granderson, who is a Chicago native, and several teammates will host a baseball clinic on Tuesday morning at a field named in his honor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. ... Mets manager Terry Collins said RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-4, 2.56 ERA) feels no aftereffects from arm fatigue suffered in his last start on July 8 as he approaches Tuesday's outing against Chicago. ... Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo saw an 11-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday, marking his third double-digit hitting streak this season. He hit .409 during the recent run. ... A well-rested RHP Jake Arrieta (12-4, 2.68 ERA) goes for the Cubs on Tuesday, looking to reverse a run of three losses in his last four starts. ... Cubs 2B Ben Zobrist had a second straight day off on Monday and will also be idle on a Thursday off-day in what Cubs manager Joe Maddon called a belated All Star break.
Top Game Performances
Starting Pitchers
NY Mets   Chi. Cubs
Steven Matz Player Jon Lester
Loss W/L Win
5.0 IP 7.2
5 Strikeouts 3
8 Hits 4
7.20 ERA 1.17
NY Mets   Chi. Cubs
Wilmer Flores Player Matt Szczur
2 Hits 3
1 RBI 0
1 HR 0
5 TB 5
.500 Avg .750
Team Stats Summary
Team Hits HR TB Avg LOB K RBI BB SB Errors
NY Mets 6 1 9 .200 12 4 1 3 0 1
Chi. Cubs 10 1 16 .323 13 8 5 1 2 0