Lester Strong as Cubs Take Down Mets (VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS)

Jon Lester (10-4, 2.89 ERA) may have had some difficulties in his last two outings – he lasted a combined 4.1 innings and gave up 13 runs – but you couldn’t tell by the way he pitched tonight. He came out and quickly got into a rhythm for the Chicago Cubs (56-36) as they battled the New York Mets (49-43) in game one of their three-game set at Wrigley Field.

Lester held the Mets to 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position as he led the Cubs to a 5-1 win (Box Score).

The Cubs got the lead-off runner on base in each of the first two innings but couldn’t capitalize. They broke through in the third inning when Anthony Rizzo went yard, driving in Javier Baez and Kris Bryant when he pounded a 2-2 change up over the ivy in right center field.

The Cubs would go on to add two more insurance runs on a sixth inning sacrifice fly by David Ross and an eighth inning RBI single by Albert Almora on a ball that went between the legs of Yoenis Cespedes and all the way to the wall.

Stats that mattered

  • Looks like the break did Lester some good – 7.2IP, 1R, 4H, 3BB, 3Ks, 1HR
  • Rondon got his 16th save thanks to a rough outing by Carl Edwards Jr. – he gave up two straight hits in the ninth inning
  • Huge hit and big at-bat by Anthony Rizzo – 10 pitches and the tenth went in the bleachers
  • Matt Sczcur stepped up big tonight – 3-for-4, 2R

Bottom line

The Cubs have really looked good coming out of the All-Star break and tonight they continued their solid play. It’s been the pitching that’s helped elevate them to a 3-1 post-break record. That along with excellent at-bats and key situational hitting have the Cubs off and running.

Next up

The Cubs take on the Mets behind ace Jake Arrieta (12-4, 2.68 ERA) tomorrow at 6:05 PM CDT on CSN.

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