Mike Tauchman hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and Jameson Taillon retired his final 16 batters to win his fourth straight start as the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Cody Bellinger also went deep and Yan Gomes had an RBI double for the surging Cubs, who won for the 16th time in 21 games. They began the day 2 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central and one game out of a playoff spot.
Pete Alonso hit an early two-run homer for the sinking Mets that culminated in an amusing back-and-forth trot around the bases because of a replay review. New York has lost seven of eight since trading Justin Verlander and other veterans at last week’s deadline.
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Tauchman also made a tough catch in deep right field to help keep the Mets from scoring in the bottom of the eighth. Julian Merryweather retired 2022 big league batting champion Jeff McNeil with runners at the corners to end the inning.
Adbert Alzolay worked a one-hit ninth for his 15th save in 16 tries. He started a 1-6-3 double play on Daniel Vogelbach to end it.
Taillon (7-6) allowed three hits in seven innings and improved to 5-0 in his past six outings. He struck out seven, walked none and did not permit a baserunner after Omar Narváez’s two-out double in the second.
With one out in the eighth, Tauchman sent a payoff pitch from Drew Smith (4-4) to left-center for an opposite-field homer that put Chicago in front for the first time.
Alonso, who had two homers and six RBIs in Monday night’s 11-2 victory, sent a screaming line drive to deep center in the first and stopped at second base with an apparent RBI double when the ball bounded back into play.
But when the play was reviewed, replays on the giant videoboard clearly showed Alonso’s drive struck the black batter’s eye just above the orange home run line atop the center-field fence. Seeing that, Alonso trotted to third base, where he was sent back to second by umpire Ramon De Jesus until the review was completed.
Alonso waved his arms as he went back, then finished his start-and-stop trip around the bases moments later when the call was overturned.
Bellinger launched a solo homer off starter Carlos Carrasco in the fourth, adding to his recent tear and extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Gomes tied it with an RBI double in the fifth following a leadoff walk to Christopher Morel. Chicago had a chance for more in the inning, but two runners were tagged out on the bases.
Cubs: All-Star RHP Marcus Stroman (right hip inflammation) threw a bullpen at Citi Field. The team hopes Stroman can return from the injured list when eligible Aug. 16. … RHP Brad Boxberger (strained right forearm) and RHP Ethan Roberts were scheduled to face hitters at the club’s complex in Arizona.
Mets: Struggling RF Starling Marte was examined by a doctor in Philadelphia and received an injection in his right groin. He will be cleared for light activity in the next few days, the team said. New York manager Buck Showalter not only expects Marte (strained right groin) to play again this season, he said he thinks it’s possible the two-time All-Star could return from the 10-day injured list right around when he becomes eligible Aug. 17. … Right fielder DJ Stewart was scratched from the starting lineup with a sore wrist and replaced by Abraham Almonte.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-6, 3.98 ERA) pitches Wednesday night in the finale of the three-game series. Hendricks was tagged for a season-high seven runs — all in the fourth inning — during last Friday’s loss to Atlanta at Wrigley Field. He is 4-1 with a 2.62 ERA in six career starts against the Mets. After recovering from a shoulder tear, Hendricks made his season debut May 25 versus the Mets at home and took the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) over 4 1/3 innings.
Mets: LHP David Peterson (3-7, 5.65 ERA) has a 2.05 ERA in 10 games, four starts, since returning from Triple-A Syracuse on June 27. The last time he faced the Cubs, he got only one out and was charged with five runs and three walks in a loss at Citi Field in September 2022.