Pete Alonso hit an 11th-inning sacrifice fly after Adam Ottavino came out of a tight spot to help the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Saturday in the opener of a doubleheader at the Wrigley Field.
The Cubs lost their eighth straight.
Alonso, who also drove in the Mets’ first run in the fourth, came in with runners on the corners and no outs in the 11th. He blasted a fly ball to right midfield against Mychal Givens (5-1), and Luis Guillorme scored the go-ahead run.
All-Star closer Edwin Diaz then got three outs for his 20th save for the NL East leaders.
The Cubs had five hits, one more than the Mets. The Cubs had a chance to close out the 10th, but Ottavino (4-2) retired three in a row after pinch-runner Nelson Velazquez stole third.
“A lot depends on where the balls are hit, so it’s not up to you,” Ottavino said. “But you have to try to attack and do the best you can with it, and I was lucky to get out of it.”
Patrick Wisdom struck out on a swing and PJ Higgins watched a called third strike. Rookie Christopher Morel then grounded out to third, and Eduardo Escobar made a quick stop and jump shot that a stiff JD Davis backhanded early.
Davis entered the game when Dominic Smith sprained his right ankle while returning to second as an automatic runner in the 10th.
“It was one of those days where we didn’t score as many runs but we played great defense and the pitching did its job,” Davis said.
The Mets got another strong performance from Taijuan Walker, who threw four-hit ball in six innings. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last seven starts.
“I finally feel like I’ve been able to put it all together,” Walker said.
Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman pitched one-hit ball over 4 1/3 innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list. He had been sidelined with inflammation in his right shoulder.
Stroman played for the Mets in 2019 and 2021 before signing with the Cubs in December. He dismissed the importance of facing his former team.
“It’s the same mindset, frame of mind for me going into each and every game,” he said.
Cubs manager David Ross was ejected by referee Ramón De Jesús after the second inning. Each side struggled with De Jesus’ strike zone at various points.
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Ross was also ejected from the first game of the series. Friday afternoon’s game was postponed due to rain, leading to the doubleheader.
“There were two balls for Higgy that were balls, and I was just like, ‘Hey, that should have been 2-0,’” Ross said. “He kicked me out. I didn’t curse or say anything derogatory. I don’t know if he was a holdover from the other day, getting kicked out.”
The Mets jumped ahead on Alonso’s double in the fourth, a line into the space between right-center field that drove in Francisco Lindor from first. Alonso’s 15th double this season gave him 75 RBIs, breaking a tie with David Wright for the franchise record before the All-Star break.
The Cubs scored their only run in the bottom half. Nico Hoerner reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored when Frank Schwindel overcame a changeup with a rebound to center for an RBI single.
The Cubs brought in left-hander Steven Brault from Triple-A Iowa. Right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. was cut and right-hander Matt Swarmer was designated for assignment.
Brault, 30, signed a minor league contract in March. He missed the first three months of the season with a left triceps strain.
Right-hander Anderson Espinoza was the Cubs’ 27th man for the doubleheader, and right-hander Yoan Lopez was the Mets’ 27th man.