New York Mets lose 8-2 to Chicago Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) -- Still no wins for Jeremy Hefner. Another rough day for Ike Davis, too.
Hefner lasted just four innings and Davis' slump continued in the New York Mets' 8-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Hefner (0-5) was charged with four runs and five hits in his shortest start since he pitched four innings against Washington on April 20. The right-hander has dropped three of his last four outings and is 2-8 with a 5.08 ERA in his last 20 outings dating to last season.
"I wouldn't say it's weighing on me," Hefner said of his winless start. "I want to win, I want the team to win and obviously we didn't do that today. Got to make some adjustments and be better in the next one."
Mets manager Terry Collins said the 27-year-old Hefner has kept the team in the game in his starts.
"If wins don't come you've just got to keep pitching, you've got to grind it out," Collins said. "That's what got him here, what kind of pitcher he is. He'll be OK. We'll get him some wins when we start swinging better."
New York, which was trying to win three straight games for the second time this season, squandered a couple of chances to get off to a fast start.
The Mets put runners on the corners in the first when Davis flied out for the second out. David Wright then stole second, but David DeJesus hauled in Lucas Duda's fly ball to deep left-center at the wall to end the inning.
New York had runners on second and third again in the second, but Mike Baxter popped out to shortstop to end the inning.
Davis went 0 for 4 and is mired in a 1-for-30 rut, dropping his batting average to .156. But the first baseman had a meeting with general manager Sandy Alderson and was told that a demotion is not imminent.
"It's not going to be like a three-game tryout," Davis said. "Once again, probably have a month or whatever to figure it out and then they've got to do what they've got to do. It's not a day-to-day thing. As long as I keep cool, start having good at-bats and start performing better it won't happen."
Scott Feldman pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning for the Cubs, and drove in two runs with a big two-out double. Anthony Rizzo had two hits and his first home run since signing a seven-year contract on Monday.
Chicago scored four times in the fourth inning. Luis Valbuena had a sacrifice fly and Welington Castillo singled in Alfonso Soriano. After Darwin Barney flied out for the second out, Feldman came up with a two-run double to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead.
"It's always fun to get a hit and help score some runs," Feldman said. "We work on it a lot, so I think all that practice we spend hitting, hopefully, pays off a bit."
Rizzo tacked on his 10th homer in the fifth and Nate Schierholtz went deep in Chicago's three-run eighth inning.
The Cubs have won five of seven and can win three straight series for the first time with a victory on Sunday.
"Whenever you get an opportunity to get runs, you gotta seize those opportunities," Rizzo said. "It was good to get the big inning there, then towards the end with the insurance runs. That's what we need to do."
Chicago was going for its first shutout since a victory over Colorado on Aug. 26, but Rick Ankiel broke it up with a two-run homer off Hector Rondon with one out in the ninth.
Feldman allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one in 6 2-3 innings. The right-hander improved to 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA in five games since he lost each of his first three starts in his first year with the Cubs.
NOTES: Saturday was the 700th game between the Mets and Cubs. Chicago leads the series 352-348. ... The Mets are appealing to Major League Baseball to get the second earned run charged Friday to Matt Harvey changed to an unearned run. ... Chicago announced before Saturday's game that Matt Garza is returning from the disabled list and starting Tuesday in Pittsburgh, while Carlos Villanueva is heading to the bullpen. ... Baxter started in right field for the Mets instead of Jordany Valdespin. Collins said he made the decision because Baxter was better at facing an off-speed pitcher like Feldman. ... Sunday's pitching matchup is the Mets' Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13 ERA) against Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03 ERA).