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Feldman beat Mets with arm, bat

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- First, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Scott Feldman made manager Dale Sveum look clairvoyant by delivering a two-run single. Then he made Sveum cringe by running the bases.

Feldman pitched seven innings of two-hit ball on Saturday to earn the win in the Cubs' 5-2 victory over the New York Mets, but his exploits at the plate and on the bases in the fourth inning were the topics of conversation afterward in the visitors' locker room.

"The guy, he can do everything," said Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, whose two-run double capped a three-run eighth inning. "He can pitch well and he can hit too. He's got a lot of RBI."

Eight, to be exact, after his two-out single into center field off Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese brought home Anthony Rizzo and Scott Hairston and gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

Hours earlier, during his pre-game press conference in the dugout, Sveum said he wasn't too worried about the Cubs' lack of depth on the bench following David DeJesus' shoulder injury, which sent the center fielder to the disabled list Saturday.

That's because pitchers Feldman and Travis Wood are good enough to pinch-hit if necessary.

"To get a big hit like that off a left-hander is huge," Sveum said afterward. "He has great at-bats. You see his swing, he's got bat speed, he can juice a ball."

The two runs batted in lifted Feldman past Wood (seven RBIs) for the team lead among pitchers. The Cubs have 22 RBIs from their pitchers, far and away the most in baseball.

"I'm sure we're walking away with that stat," Sveum said. "But a lot of them have been really big hits. It's not just getting them in blowouts or anything like that.

"They're getting huge hits at the right times."

Feldman has two RBIs in three of his last four starts. He hit a two-run double against the Mets at Wrigley Field on May 18 and a two-run home run against the Reds last Monday.

Not bad for a guy who spent the first six years of his career in the American League with the Rangers before signing with the Cubs last November.

"I didn't really know what to expect coming in to the NL and how I'd be able to put the bat on the ball," Feldman said. "I just try to go up there and get lucky once in a while."

The Cubs didn't score again until the eighth, but Feldman did his best to score a run in the third by taking third base on Darwin Barney's single to right.

Feldman awkwardly slid head-first into third just ahead of David Wright's tag.

"I was cringing, like, why are you going to third? You have a bad knee," Sveum said with a laugh.

Feldman missed much of the 2011 season after undergoing right knee surgery. He said he wasn't thinking of his knee, or much of anything, as he tried to extend the inning.

"I didn't know what I was doing," Feldman said with a grin. "Just decided to go I guess, and then I realized it was going to be a close play.

"Don't want to make the third out at third, so I just tried to do everything I could to sneak my hand in there."

On the mound, Feldman (6-5) was in complete command other than the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Mets got both hits and their only run against him.

"It never fails," Sveum said. "When somebody exerts themselves, they give up a run the next inning."

Feldman allowed one walk and struck out six, retiring the final 12 batters he faced following David Wright's RBI double.

Carlos Villanueva allowed a run on three hits in the eighth before leaving the potential tying runs on base by retiring Daniel Murphy and Wright.

The Mets got the potential tying run to the plate twice in the ninth against Kevin Gregg, who earned his ninth save in as many opportunities by working around a leadoff single and a one-out error by Cody Ransom.

Ransom hit two singles and drew two walks, including one with the bases loaded in the eighth, while Barney, Wellington Castro and Ryan Sweeney all had two hits apiece as the Cubs (28-38) won their third in a row.

For the Mets, who lost for the 10th time in their last 12 games and fell a season-worst 15 games under .500, Wright reached base in his first two plate appearances before Alfonso Soriano made a leaping catch at the wall of his long fly to left in the sixth to preserve the Cubs' 2-1 lead.

That ended a streak of nine straight plate appearances in which Wright had reached base via a hit or walk.

Murphy had the first hit off Feldman with a leadoff double in the fourth, while Jordany Valdespin hit an RBI single in the eighth.

Niese fell to 3-6 after allowing two runs on six hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four.

"We've went down this path before, where we've got to play perfect baseball," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

NOTES: Before the game, the Cubs officially placed David DeJesus on the 15-day disabled list because of a right shoulder sprain and activated RHP Shawn Camp from the 15-day disabled list. DeJesus was hurt when he crashed into the center field wall pursuing Juan Lagares' triple in the third inning Friday night. He will undergo another MRI exam on Monday after the swelling in his shoulder has subsided. ... Minor leaguer Ian Stewart is appealing the 10-day suspension he received from the Cubs for Tweeting derogatory comments about the organization this week. ... Mets RHP Scott Atchison and LHP Pedro Feliciano each pitched a shutout inning in rehab appearances for Double-A Binghamton on Friday. Atchison hasn't pitched since May 14 because of right elbow inflammation, while Feliciano hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010 because of left shoulder ailments. ... Mets RHP Frank Francisco, who hasn't pitched this season following off-season elbow surgery, has begun throwing off a mound and could appear in a minor league game next week.
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