<
>

Rapid Reaction: Cubs 4, Mets 1

NEW YORK -- The Mets lost to the Cubs, 4-1, Monday afternoon at Citi Field and matched franchise history in the process.

After being limited to four hits by Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks and two relievers, the Mets (59-67) became the first major league team in a decade to produce four hits or fewer in five straight games.

The last team to do it?

The 2004 Mets.

The Mets’ current streak of hitting futility actually matches the franchise record. In addition to ’04, the 1963 Mets also went five straight games with four hits or fewer.

The Mets produced only 16 hits yet split this four-game series against the Cubs (54-70).

Buddy Carlyle surrendered a tie-breaking homer to Anthony Rizzo to open the eighth inning. It snapped the journeyman right-hander’s scoreless streak at 13 innings, the longest by a Mets reliever this season.

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Carlos Torres' five scoreless innings went for naught in a 4-1 loss to the Cubs.

Javier Baez added a two-run homer against Jenrry Mejia in the ninth. Mejia has allowed seven earned runs in his past 7 2/3 innings.

Who needs rest? Subbing for Bartolo Colon, who flew to the Dominican Republic to be with his gravely ill mother, Carlos Torres tossed five scoreless innings in his first start since last Sept. 27.

Torres became the fourth pitcher in franchise history to make a start on no days of rest. He joined Dan Wheeler (2004), Kevin Kobel (1979) and Craig Anderson (1962).

In an 86-pitch effort, Torres limited the Cubs to three hits and two walks while striking out six. He faced a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fourth, but fanned Welington Castillo to escape.

Torres suffered a no-decision when Dana Eveland allowed a leadoff double to Rizzo and a one-out RBI single to Luis Valbuena in the sixth inning that evened the score at 1.

On the leaderboard: Lucas Duda's solo homer in the fourth inning against Hendricks opened the scoring. Duda upped his career high to 22 homers. He ranks fifth in the National League, trailing Giancarlo Stanton (32), Rizzo (28), Marlon Byrd (23) and Justin Upton (23).

Shouldering the load: After getting struck in his balky left shoulder Saturday and departing after six innings, then missing Sunday’s game, David Wright returned to the lineup. The captain went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Black Monday: Vic Black stranded two runners in the eighth inning. He has now prevented 21 straight inherited runners from scoring. That’s the longest streak by a Mets reliever this season.

Passing fancy: Travis d'Arnaud had his 12th passed ball, matching the Rockies' Wilin Rosario for the most in the majors.

Pitching in: Jonathon Niese pinch-hit for Torres with two outs and none on in the bottom of the fifth and grounded out. Niese became the first Mets pitcher to appear as a pinch-hitter since Jacob deGrom on May 30 in Philadelphia. deGrom struck out in the 14th inning in that game.

What’s next: The Mets fly to Oakland for a two-game series, and the challenge for their hitters does not get any easier. Dillon Gee (4-5, 3.69 ERA) opposes old friend Scott Kazmir (13-5, 2.78) at 10:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Jeff Samardzija starts for the A's on Wednesday.

Kazmir got roughed up at Citi Field on June 24, allowing a season-high seven runs in three innings, including homers to Curtis Granderson, Chris Young and d’Arnaud. Manager Terry Collins implied Daniel Murphy will be given the day off Tuesday. Murphy snapped an 0-for-12 drought with a leadoff double in the ninth. He went 5-for-28 on the homestand.