- Last Updated: 7:14 AM, June 28, 2012
- Posted: 1:14 AM, June 28, 2012
CHICAGO — If the Friendly Confines were any friendlier to them yesterday, the Mets would have each needed a postgame cigarette.
This was a much-needed laugher, allowing the Mets to forget about errors, bullpen woes and base-running blunders for a day.
By the time it ended, manager Terry Collins’ crew had a season high in homers and runs scored in a 17-1 demolition of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The victory snapped a four-game skid and allowed the Mets (40-36) to avoid the indignity of getting swept three games by the worst team in the majors.
Scott Hairston’s sixth-inning grand slam made the loudest noise in the Mets’ four-homer barrage, but Daniel Murphy homered twice and Ike Davis hit his fifth home run since June 12.
After going 352 at-bats without a homer, Murphy got pitches to drive in consecutive plate appearances and hit two. Murphy’s first homer, a two-run shot against Jeff Samardzija, gave the Mets a 3-1 lead. In the fifth, Murphy hit a solo blast against Casey Coleman to give the Mets their 10th run.
“I feel like I’m swinging the bat better and it’s nice to get rewarded for that today,” said Murphy, who entered in a 4-for-21 (.190) skid over the team’s previous 10 games. “But it’s still a long season and I’ve got a long way to go.”
Murphy was asked if he was relieved to finally end his home-run drought.
“It was a relief to help the team win,” he said. “If we win ballgames and we make the playoffs, I don’t need to hit another one this year.”
David Wright was 2-for-3 with five RBIs as part of the Mets’ 17-hit attack. The Mets took a 10-0 lead after scoring six runs in the fifth.
Jon Niese (6-3) held the Cubs to one run on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts over seven innings. The lefty is 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA in June after a rough May.
“He had a terrific June and as we get into this summer I think there’s going to be some great competition among our starters to outdo each other,” Collins said. “Jon Niese is going to be right in the mix of it.”
Niese deflected talk of him stepping up as a stopper yesterday.
“The offense did more than anything,” Niese said. “They scored 17 runs and that just makes the pitcher’s job a lot easier. Fortunately, the offense was on the top of their game today.”
The Mets made it a runaway in the fifth, with Davis’ three-run homer making it 9-1. Wright’s two-run double earlier in the inning and Murphy’s solo blast after Davis’ homer accounted for the other three runs in the inning.
Next stop is Los Angeles for four games against the Dodgers, who lost Andre Either to an oblique injury yesterday. Matt Kemp remains on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.
“They are in first place so we are used to that,” Collins said. “We are used to playing those teams sitting atop the standings. Ethier got hurt so that doesn’t help them.
“But we’ve got to go and play our game. Not that we’re going to score 17 runs, but swing the bats like we’re capable of and use that as a stepping stone to move forward.”
Collins said the Dodgers without Kemp and Ethier would seem vulnerable.
“This is when you’ve got to take advantage of them,” he said. “Because the next time we play them they’ll have those guys. So we’ve got to go in and pitch — I like the way our rotation is set up going in there — and we’ve just got to play well.”