CHICAGO (AP) — For most of the season, the New York Mets have had a tough time getting more than one hitter going at the same time. On Wednesday, they had four with big games.
Daniel Murphy homered twice, Scott Hairston hit a grand slam and David Wright drove in five runs to lead the Mets to a 17-1 rout of the Chicago Cubs.
Ike Davis had a three-run homer and an RBI double as he combined with Murphy, Hairston and Wright to drive in all 17 runs — with each having at least four RBIs — to help the Mets snap a four-game losing streak.
“We haven’t had a lot of days were we had multiple guys in the lineup come up big,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We kind of thought going into spring training we would have more of those. Hopefully it’s something that continues.”
The Mets had their highest scoring total since they had 18 at Wrigley Field on Sept. 5, 2010. It was also the most runs the Cubs have allowed since that game.
Murphy hadn’t homered since last July 16 but went deep in consecutive innings to notch his first career multihomer game. His first homer was a two-out, two-run shot in the fourth, breaking open a 2-1 game.
“The biggest thing I was happy with was a two-out RBI in a one-run ballgame,” Murphy said. “I feel like that team over there is very scrappy and if we let them hang around, they’ve shown they will make us pay.”
Davis’ four RBIs matched his career high and Hairston had his second career grand slam.
On the day he raised his average over .200 for the first time all season, Davis said he’s been feeling good at the plate for a while now.
“A couple of weeks for sure,” Davis said. “I’ve had some bad days in between, but overall it’s been good.”
Davis’ last seven hits have gone for extra bases. Collins sees the recent upswings by Davis and Murphy as good omens for the second half of the season.
“We know (Murphy is) going to break out,” Collins said. “(Davis) has hit the ball very well, especially the last 10 games. He certainly feels better about himself.”
One night after having a 15-game hitting streak snapped, Wright had a sacrifice fly, two-run double and two-run single for his ninth career game of at least five RBIs.
The onslaught made for an easy afternoon for Mets starter Jonathon Niese (6-3), who struck out six and held the Cubs to one run over seven innings.
“I think the offense did more than anything, scoring 17 runs,” Niese said. “That just makes the pitcher’s job a lot more easy.”
Niese improved to 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA in day games this season. In June, he’s gone 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA after a poor May.
“In May, I wasn’t able to execute my fastball a lot,” Niese said. “My last few starts, I have been able to (control the fastball). That helps the secondary pitches.”
The Mets’ first seven hits went for extra bases, six of them off Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija (5-7). Samardzija also walked four batters and gave up a career-high nine runs in 4 1-3 innings.
He dropped to 0-4 with an 11.29 ERA over his last four starts after going 3-2 with a 2.26 ERA in eight starts from April 24 to June 4.
“I’d be lying if I weren’t concerned a little bit with the numbers, and the execution of pitches obviously hasn’t been too good for four or five starts now,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Casey Coleman fared no better in relief, allowing seven runs in 1 2-3 innings.
The game was tied 1-all through three before New York got 15 runs in the middle innings.
One night after stranding 12 runners in a 5-3 loss to Chicago, New York left just four runners on base despite getting 16 hits and drawing seven walks. The ups and downs don’t bother Collins.
“If this was a team that had huge expectations, it could bother you,” Collins said. “Because we weren’t expected to be very good, you can let some of the stuff go because you know you’re dealing with young guys. They’re learning on the job here.”
NOTES: Collins gave OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis the day off Wednesday. The 24-year-old is in a 3-for-26 slide. . Before the game, the Cubs designated RHP Randy Wells for assignment and recalled RHP Rafael Dolis from Triple-A Iowa. Wells has struggled with his control, walking 24 in 28 2-3 innings this season. . The Cubs walked Niese twice and have issued eight free passes to pitchers this season, second-most in the majors to Atlanta’s 10.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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