Feldman gives Cubs lift at plate in win over Mets

Jack McCarthy, The SportsXchange
The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Pitchers, especially those in the American League or those who have spent most their careers in the American League, aren't known for hitting prowess.
Chicago Cubs right-hander Scott Feldman falls in that category.
But Feldman showed he can deliver at the plate as well as the on mound on Saturday afternoon as he led the Cubs to an 8-2 victory over the New York Mets.
Feldman tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings and added a two-run double as the Cubs evened their series at 1-1 with the New York Mets heading into Sunday's rubber match.
"It's always fun to get a hit and help score some runs," said Feldman, who spent eight seasons with the Texas Rangers before joining the Cubs this year. "When we (pitchers) get in there we have to make the most of it."
But his main task is getting opposing hitters out and Feldman (4-3) delivered in his fourth straight victory.
"His last five starts have been as good as anybody in baseball," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Low stress, deep in games without too many pitches either. He went a long way with (109) pitches."
Anthony Rizzo clubbed his team-leading 10th home run in the fifth while Nate Schierholtz added a solo home run in the eighth.
Mets center fielder Rick Ankiel hit his second home run of the season -- a two-run shot off Cubs reliever Hector Rondon -- with one out in the ninth.
Mets starter Jeremy Hefner dropped to 0-5. He worked four innings, gave up four earned runs on five hits while walking two and striking out three.
The victory was the fifth in seven games for Chicago while New York saw its two-game winning streak snapped.
Mets manager Terry Collins said Hefner's winless record is deceiving.
"He's kept us in games and if runs don't come, you've got to keep pitching. He knows that," Collins said. "He'll be OK. We'll get him some wins when we start swinging better."
Feldman gave up seven hits, struck out six and walked just one.
Rizzo and Schierholtz each went 2-for-4 and scored two runs as Chicago collected 10 hits off three Mets pitchers.
Daniel Murphy and Ankiel also went 2-for-4 for the Mets. Murphy extended his hitting streak to seven games.
The Mets put runners on second and third with two out in each of the opening two innings but failed to score.
The Cubs threatened with runners at first and third and one out in the second. But Hefner struck out Welington Castillo and Darwin Barney popped to short left to end the threat.
Chicago then loaded the bases with none out in the fourth inning.
Luis Valbuena's sacrifice fly to deep right brought home Rizzo for the game's first run. With runners on first and third, Castillo punched a single to left, scoring Alfonso Soriano.
Feldman then delivered the inning's biggest blow -- a two-run double to right just out of the reach of a sprinting Mike Baxter to score Schierholtz and Castillo to open a 4-0 lead.
"I poorly executed balls with two strikes and gave up two hits and obviously didn't make a good enough pitch to Scott (Feldman)," Hefner said. "It was one bad inning and there's stuff I'd like to get back. But I recognize that and I'll correct it."
Feldman quelled another Mets threat in the fifth. With runners on first and second and one out, the Cub right-hander struck out Murphy and David Wright to close the inning.
Rizzo collected his team-leading 10th homer and 30th RBI in the fifth off reliever Robert Parsons. He lined a 1-0 pitch into the right-field corner seats for a 5-0 Chicago lead.
Schierholtz belted his fifth homer to lead off the eighth and the Cubs tallied twice more in the inning when Barney and Ryan Sweeney scored on a DeJesus' single.
Cubs left-handed reliever James Russell entered with two outs in the seventh inning and worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Rondon allowed two hits but survived the ninth
NOTES: Chicago activated right-hander Matt Garza off the disabled list and he'll make his first start in 10 months on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Garza has been on the disabled list since the start of the season. Garza's move into the starting rotation pushes Carlos Villanueva into the bullpen. ... Rizzo has now gone 39 at-bats without a strikeout. He last struck out in the sixth inning on May 7 against the Cardinals. ... Cub starters have recorded a 2.00 ERA in 170.2 innings pitched in 25 quality starts this season yet had only 10 victories in that span entering Saturday. ... Jeff Samardzija is fourth in the National League with 64 strikeouts. Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett leads with 72. ... The Mets last won a series at Wrigley Field in 2007, only the second series New York has claimed in Chicago since 1996. ... The Mets return to Chicago in late June to face the cross-town White Sox in a two-game interleague series on June 25 and June 26. ... Marlon Byrd earned his third outfield assist of the season Friday when he threw out Barney at home in the eighth inning. He's tied for fourth in the National League. ... Met's catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud was examined in Manhattan on Friday and will remain in a nonweight bearing walking boot for two more weeks. He suffered a nondisplaced fracture in his left foot April 17. ... The Mets send Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13) against the Cubs' Travis Wood (2, 2.03 ERA) on Sunday.