By MARK GONZALES | Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Carrasco pitched six sharp innings, Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso homered, and the New York Mets handed the Chicago Cubs their seventh straight loss, 8-0 on Thursday night.
The Mets won for the third time in four games, maintained their 2 1/2-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East and improved their road record to 28-19. The Cubs have totaled three runs over their last three games.
Thanks to Carrasco, Mets starters improved to 7-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 14 July games.
“We see a lot of good pitching,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said “But for us to be in these games, we have to pitch well, too.”
Carrasco (10-4) allowed only one runner to advance past first base. Yan Gomes hit a single and Christopher Morel walked with one out in the fourth, but Carrasco got a double-play grounder from Rafael Ortega.
In his last three starts, Carrasco has allowed three runs over 15 2/3 innings (1.72 ERA).
Nimmo’s three hits paced a 12-hit attack. His homer off reliever Mark Leiter Jr. in the sixth extended the Mets’ streak of hitting at least one homer at Wrigley Field to nine consecutive games.
Alonso hit his 24th homer, a two-run shot to center field, off Leiter in the eighth. Alonso has hit six homers in his last eight games at Wrigley.
Patrick Mazeika’s two-run double highlighted a three-run second against Keegan Thompson (7-4) and provided ample support for Carrasco.
“I never relax,” Carrasco said. “This game can change in two seconds. So I just went out there and continued to throw the ball well and finished as strong as I can.”
Mets right fielder Starling Marte, who missed the last four games due to left groin tightness, hit a single in the first and scored on Francisco Lindor’s double without showing any signs of discomfort.
“It’s not easy,” Showalter said. “He’ll make you shake your head a couple times, and it’s just a reminder of what a splendid athlete he is.”
Cubs manager David Ross was ejected by third base umpire John Tumpane with two out in the fourth while arguing for a balk to be called on Carrasco.
“We just had a disagreement on what a set is, and what his set was,” Ross said. “I thought it was very random. And he disagreed. I probably let my emotions get the best of me.”
Thompson, who had allowed one earned run over 9 2/3 innings in his previous two starts, was tagged for four runs on six hits in the first two innings. He then retired eight of nine batters before hitting Alonso with a 3-0 pitch with one out in the fifth.
That led to an RBI single by Eduardo Escobar, ending Thompson’s night.
Nico Hoerner had two of the Cubs’ five hits.
DEGROM DAZZLES IN MINORS
Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom struck out four and allowed two hits in four innings in his third and potentially final rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse.
DeGrom, recovering from a stress reaction in his right scapula, was charged with one unearned run against Jacksonville. He threw 29 of 42 pitches for strikes while walking one.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to pitch at the Mets’ minor league camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida, during the All-Star break and could join make his season debut shortly after. DeGrom has struck out 15 while walking one in 8 2/3 innings over three rehab starts.
Mets: INF/OF Jeff McNeil was reinstated from the paternity list. OF Ender Inciarte was designated for assignment.
Cubs: 1B Frank Schwindel (low back strain) was activated from the 10-day injured list. INF Andrelton Simmons (right shoulder strain) was placed on the 10-day IL.
Mets: RHP Trevor May (right triceps inflammation) is scheduled to throw batting practice Sunday at Port St. Lucie. C James McCann (left oblique strain) has resumed throwing.
Cubs: INF Nick Madrigal (left groin strain) said he will continue his rehab in Arizona during the All-Star break and expects to play a few games on a rehab assignment before rejoining the team.
The Mets will start RHP Taijuan Walker (7-2, 2.63) on Friday. Walker pitched seven scoreless innings July 10 in a 2-0 loss to the Marlins. Marcus Stroman (2-5, 4.91), who threw four scoreless innings July 9 in a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers, starts for the Cubs.
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