Francisco Lindor shakes off illness, comes off bench to rally Mets past Cubs 7-6 in 11 innings

NEW YORK (AP) — Francisco Lindor delivered a pair of two-run doubles off the bench, rallying the New York Mets past the Chicago Cubs 7-6 in 11 innings Thursday for a split of their four-game series.

Right fielder Starling Marte made two rocket throws in extra innings, cutting down Cubs runners at the plate to end the 10th and 11th. Brandon Nimmo had two RBIs for the Mets, who overcame a 4-0 deficit to salvage a 3-4 homestand.

“It was exciting,” Marte said through an interpreter. “Whenever we make plays like that, it always gives us a boost offensively.”

Daniel Palencia (0-1) drilled Harrison Bader with a pitch to begin the bottom of the 11th. Lindor then lashed a sharp grounder inside third base and down the left-field line to score automatic runner Brett Baty and Bader.

Lindor didn’t start after leaving Wednesday night’s game early with flu-like symptoms — so that he wouldn't “throw up” or “go number two” at shortstop.

“Not a lot of sleep. Not a lot of fluid in my body. But I'm good,” a tired Lindor said with a smile at his locker. “I was ready.”

Lindor said he received IV fluids and took nausea medicine to combat a virus that also afflicted his wife, daughter and teammate Joey Wendle recently.

“It's just part of the grind, part of being a big leaguer,” Lindor said. “Today I was a role player.”

Nick Madrigal gave Chicago a 6-5 lead in the top of the 11th with a run-scoring double on the first pitch from Danny Young (1-0), who earned his first major league win in his Mets debut.

“I kind of knew the situation. I was kind of the last guy down there so we were either going to win or lose, but I was probably going to be the guy with the ball at the end,” Young said. “Defense bailed me out. Marte bailed me out.”

Mets closer Edwin Díaz retired all five batters he faced in his first outing of more than one inning since missing last season following knee surgery.

Christopher Morel hit a three-run homer for the Cubs, who stole six bases. Pete Crow-Armstrong, traded by the Mets in July 2021 a year after they drafted him in the first round, had two RBIs.

New York catchers have thrown out only one runner attempting to steal this season.

“There was a lot that happened in the game,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said, “and we just end up coming up short.”

A sloppy fielding error by reliever Keegan Thompson helped New York score three times in the sixth. Lindor came through with a pinch-hit double off Thompson that scored two runs, and Nimmo's two-out RBI double against left-hander Richard Lovelady tied it 5-all.

Morel's fifth-inning drive off struggling Mets starter Adrian Houser gave Cubs rookie Ben Brown a 4-0 lead in his fourth major league start.

Pitching about 50 miles from his Long Island hometown, Brown held New York hitless through four innings with dozens of friends and family members in the stands.

“Super cool. I grew up going to games here,” Brown said.

But he issued a leadoff walk in the fifth and yielded consecutive RBI singles to Nimmo and Marte with two outs. After a walk to DJ Stewart loaded the bases, the big right-hander was pulled.

“Just frustration for the 0-2 to Nimmo," Brown said. “I just couldn't finish it off."

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: LHP Justin Steele (left hamstring strain) will meet the team in Chicago this weekend and see the medical staff before it's determined whether he's ready to rejoin the rotation without another minor league rehab outing. Steele, on the injured list since getting hurt opening day, threw 63 pitches Wednesday for Triple-A Iowa. He allowed three runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings. ... RHP Kyle Hendricks (lower back strain) was scheduled to throw about 75-80 pitches in a rehab start for Double-A Tennessee.

Mets: LHP Brooks Raley (left elbow inflammation) is expected to undergo another MRI. He won't be ready to come off the injured list Monday when first eligible, as previously hoped. “That's probably going to be longer than what we anticipated,” manager Carlos Mendoza said. “We’re going to take it slow.”

UP NEXT

Cubs: RHP Hayden Wesneski (2-0, 0.87 ERA) makes his second start and fourth appearance of the year Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field against Milwaukee RHP Joe Ross (1-3, 5.40). It will be Chicago's first game this season within the NL Central.

Mets: LHP Jose Quintana (1-2, 3.48 ERA) starts Friday night at Tampa Bay against RHP Aaron Civale (2-2, 5.06). New York will bring up RHP Christian Scott, the team's top pitching prospect, from Triple-A Syracuse to start Saturday night versus the Rays in his major league debut.

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