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Cubs top Mets after spoiling Severino's no-hit bid

Christopher Morel Chicago Cubs Christopher Morel - The Canadian Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Christopher Morel hit a two-run homer off Edwin Díaz to snap a ninth-inning tie and the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 3-1 on Monday night after being held hitless by Luis Severino into the eighth.

“It was just really cool to just see us like, stay in it,” Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson said. “Just an all-around good team performance. Sometimes you've got to win games like that.”

Swanson singled off Severino with nobody out in the eighth for Chicago's first hit, putting runners at first and second following a leadoff walk to Michael Busch.

With runners at the corners and one out, pinch-hitter Nick Madrigal hit a broken-bat grounder to third baseman Joey Wendle, who had just entered for defense. Wendle easily could have thrown out Busch at the plate, cutting off the tying run. Instead, the veteran infielder made an ill-advised decision to try for an inning-ending double play. Madrigal beat the relay to first and the Cubs evened it 1-all.

“Initially thought the ball was hit a little bit harder than it was. By that point, I had already set my feet and kind of committed to trying to turn a double play," Wendle said. "That’s the decision I made, and unfortunately the wrong one.”

Brandon Nimmo hit his 13th career leadoff homer for the Mets, but Jameson Taillon shut them down after that in a fast-moving pitchers' duel that zipped by at a breakneck pace.

“I was feeling good, even in the bullpen,” Severino said.

Taillon allowed four hits in 7 1/3 innings, throwing 57 of his 78 pitches for strikes.

Mark Leiter Jr. (1-1) got two outs for the win, and Héctor Neris worked around two walks in the ninth for his fourth save. With two runners aboard, he struck out pinch-hitters DJ Stewart and Brett Baty to end a game that took just 2 hours, 5 minutes.

“It was fun going back and forth there,” Taillon said. “Quick innings.”

Mike Tauchman doubled off Díaz (0-1) with one out in the ninth. One out later, Morel drove a 3-1 fastball to left-center for his fourth home run.

“I'm always ready for the fastball,” Morel said through a translator. “It was a huge satisfaction, huge relief. Especially being able to do it in front of my teammates, being able to do it in front of my family. It was just an incredible moment."

An excited Morel pointed toward his cheering section in the stands. With family in the Bronx, he said he had more than 40 friends and family members at the game.

“I feel like he loves the moment,” Taillon said, “the bright lights.”

A two-out walk to Ian Happ in the fourth was Chicago's only baserunner until Severino plunked Tauchman with a pitch leading off the seventh.

“He was so good,” Swanson said. “Especially throwing hard, but like, somehow his ball had like, even extra life than just the velocity.”


Cubs: LHP Justin Steele (left hamstring strain) is expected to throw about 60-65 pitches Wednesday in a rehab start for Triple-A Iowa. It's possible he could rejoin Chicago's rotation after that, manager Craig Counsell said. Steele has been on the injured list since leaving his opening-day start March 28. ... RHP Kyle Hendricks (lower back strain) is trending toward a rehab start later this week, Counsell said.

Mets: RHP Kodai Senga (right shoulder capsule strain) faced hitters for the first time since getting hurt in February. He threw 21 pitches of live batting practice against minor leaguers at Citi Field. ... LHP David Peterson (left hip surgery) is slated to throw about 45 pitches over three or four innings Friday in his second rehab start for Class A St. Lucie. Peterson struck out five in two perfect innings Sunday at St. Lucie. ... Wendle returned from a one-day absence due to a stomach bug. ... RF Starling Marte is expected back from the bereavement list Tuesday.


Cubs RHP Javier Assad (2-0, 2.00 ERA) starts Tuesday night against LHP Sean Manaea (1-1, 3.33) in the second game of the four-game series.