Mets’ Francisco Lindor battles through flu and hits walk-off double to secure comeback win vs. Cubs

NEW YORK — The Mets and the Chicago Cubs took the first three games of the series down to the wire this week. The fourth was no different.

The Mets walked off with a 7-6 win Thursday at Citi Field, splitting a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs. With two on and none out in the bottom of the 11th, Francisco Lindor, who came off the bench after being unable to start the game because of the flu, lined a double to left field off right-hander Daniel Palencia (0-1) to score the ghost runner (Brett Baty) and Harrison Bader, who was hit by a pitch to reach first.

The Mets (16-15) clawed back from deficits of four runs and two to tie the game at 5-5 and push it into 11 innings. With the bullpen nearly empty, the Mets went to right-hander Danny Young in the 11th. He gave up a leadoff RBI single to Nick Madrigal to give Chicago (19-13) a 6-5 lead, but still earned his first big league win (1-0) in his Mets debut, thanks to Lindor.

The Cubs had a runner on third in the ninth and 10th innings, but Edwin Diaz struck out Christopher Morel in the ninth to keep the game tied. In the top of the 10th with Morel, the ghost runner, on third, Michael Busch popped one up to shallow right-center field. Starling Marte made the catch and nailed Morel at third, with catcher Omar Narvaez making a great pick to get the tag on Morel and end the inning.

Right-hander Adrian Houser left the Mets in a 4-0 hole and was booed as he walked off the field after the fifth inning, but the Mets gave fans plenty to cheer for over the next few innings with two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth.

With two on and one out in the sixth, Lindor pinch-hit a two-run double. Lindor advanced to third on a lineout from Narvaez and the Cubs went to the bullpen for left-hander Richard Lovelady.

Brandon Nimmo came through for the second time in as many innings with a double that went over a reaching Ian Happ and scored two to tie the game at 5-5.

Nimmo drove in a run in the fifth with an RBI single off right-hander Ben Brown to start the comeback effort. With two on and two out, Nimmo singled to left to score Baty and Marte’s single scored Bader to cut the Cubs’ lead to 4-2.

Brown went 4 2/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, walking five and striking out five.

After expressing confidence in Houser all week, the Mets’ right-hander turned in yet another dismal performance.

For the fourth time in six starts, Houser gave up at least four earned runs. He managed to make it through five innings, something the 31-year-old hasn’t done in a few weeks, but he put the Mets in a 4-0 hole after a three-run fifth. He also struck out two but walked four. Houser has walked a hitter in each of his six starts and has walked at least four hitters in half of them.

With an 0-3 record and an 8.16 ERA, it seems as though the Mets are ready to make a change. A source confirmed to the New York Daily News that right-hander Christian Scott is being promoted from Triple-A Syracuse this weekend and is likely to start Saturday in Tampa. Instead of using Scott in place of Houser, the Mets are giving Luis Severino, Sean Manaea and Jose Butto each an extra day in between their next starts.

The Mets begin a series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field before heading to St. Louis for a three-game set starting Monday.