Jeff McNeil

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Put It In The Books! McNeil Powers Mets Past Cubs 5-4

June 21, 2019 - 5:45 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — Jeff McNeil homered and drove in three runs while making his first career start in right field, helping the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Friday.

Michael Conforto also connected as the slumping Mets won for just the fourth time in their last 11 games. Brooks Pounders (1-0) got four outs for his first victory since he was acquired in a deal with Cleveland last week.

McNeil's two-run shot off Yu Darvish gave New York a 3-2 lead in the third inning. With two outs and Adeiny Hechavarria on second in the seventh, McNeil pulled an RBI single into right field to break a 4-all tie.

McNeil also played right as part of an unusual defensive lineup by manager Mickey Callaway, who was looking for more offense after New York lost 7-4 on Thursday night in the opener of the four-game series. He got his first major league action in right when he played two innings at the position May 21 against Washington.

Addison Russell hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which dropped to 2-2 on a 10-game homestand. Brad Brach (3-2) got the loss after surrendering Hechavarria's leadoff single in the seventh.

The Cubs had one last chance in the ninth, but Edwin Diaz worked a perfect inning for his 16th save.

Darvish allowed four runs and four hits in six innings in his 10th consecutive no-decision, extending a franchise record. He became the first traditional starting pitcher with 10 straight no-decisions since Philadelphia's Randy Lerch in 1977.

While Darvish was just OK on the mound, he had quite a day at the plate.

He slapped a two-out RBI single through the right side to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the second. He led off the fifth with a bouncer up the middle for another base hit, and Russell followed with a drive into the bleachers in left for his fifth homer.

The 32-year-old Darvish entered with one hit this season and six for his career.

Russell's first homer since May 28 made it 4-3, but the Mets tied it in the sixth. Darvish struck out Pete Alonso and Robinson Cano before Conforto went deep for his 15th of the season.