CHICAGO (AP) Tucker Barnhart was behind the plate as Marcus Stroman pitched deep into the night for the Chicago Cubs.
Asked what was working so well, Barnhart offered a succinct observation.
“The sinker was sinking, right?” he said with a grin.
It sure was.
Stroman pitched eight efficient innings in his second straight win, leading the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.
Nico Hoerner homered in Chicago's second consecutive victory since coming home after a 2-7 trip. Seiya Suzuki also drove in a run with a double off Japanese countryman Kodai Senga.
Stroman (4-4) threw just 88 pitches in his longest outing of the season, 59 for strikes. The right-hander allowed four hits, struck out three and walked two.
“It's just a matter of getting to that zone and staying in that flow state, and then nothing really affects me, honestly,” Stroman said. “ A hit or a missed call, none of that really throws me out of my wave.”
Francisco Álvarez hit a two-run shot in the third, but that was it for the Mets. Stroman helped himself by starting a 1-6-3 double play in the sixth, and then pounded his chest in celebration.
On a windy, cool night at Wrigley Field, Mark Leiter Jr. worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save.
“I definitely think I could have went out there for the ninth, but Mark was great," Stroman said. “Mark's been throwing the ball incredible, and I think (manager David Ross) made a great decision there to go with Mark.”
Senga (4-3) labored through five innings for New York, allowing three runs and six hits. Coming off a dominant performance against Tampa Bay, the rookie right-hander struck out six and issued a season-high five walks.
After Álvarez connected for his sixth homer, Chicago responded with three runs in the bottom half of the third. Dansby Swanson doubled home Hoerner, and Suzuki added a two-out RBI double off the wall in left. Suzuki then scored on Mike Tauchman's single.
“It’s the same as when he was in Japan," Senga said about facing Suzuki. "If you throw a ball in the zone that he could hit, he does damage with it and that’s what happened today.”
Hoerner connected for his third homer in the sixth against Drew Smith. It was his first homer in his fifth game since returning from a left hamstring strain.
Chicago's Christopher Morel extended his hitting streak to his first 13 games this season with an infield hit in the fifth. But his homer streak ended at five games.
Mets: C Omar Narváez (left calf strain) is slated to play for Class A Brooklyn on Thursday and Saturday before moving his rehab stint to Triple-A Syracuse. ... Manager Buck Showalter said C Tomás Nido (dry eye syndrome) is “very close to being ready.” Nido is 3 for 15 with a homer and two RBIs in four rehab appearances with Class A St. Lucie. ... RHP Elieser Hernandez (right shoulder strain) threw a live BP session on Wednesday. ... RHP Sam Coonrod (right lat strain) is working his way through a throwing program at the team's facility in Florida. The team is hoping to send him on a rehab assignment in July. ... OF Tim Locastro had surgery on his injured right thumb Tuesday.
Cubs: RHP Nick Burdi was placed on the 15-day injured list after he had an appendectomy on Wednesday morning. RHP Javier Assad was recalled from Triple-A Iowa. ... RHP Codi Heuer (recovery from Tommy John) threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab appearance with Iowa.
Kyle Hendricks will come off the injured list and start Thursday night for Chicago. Hendricks had been sidelined by a right shoulder strain. He hasn't appeared in a big league game since July 5. Jameson Taillon was slated to pitch for the Cubs, but he was pushed back to Saturday against Cincinnati. Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 8.68 ERA) is making his second start for New York since he was sidelined for more than a month by right elbow inflammation.
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