Maddon’s magic helps Cubs halt skid
Before batting practice, Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon brought a magician into his team’s clubhouse in hopes of lightening the mood and helping the young ball club break a season-high five-game losing streak.
Apparently, it worked.
Hendricks (3-4) allowed all three New York Hits in his six scoreless innings of work, but held the Mets off the board thanks to a change-up that was on-point from the start.
New York left-hander Jon Niese was a tough-luck loser at a time when Chicago has been linked to him in trade rumors. The southpaw pitched seven innings of one-run ball, striking out five and walking four.
Chicago (40-35) scored their run in the sixth on Szczur’s double that plated Kris Bryant, who drew a lead-off walk to open the inning against Niese (3-8).
The Cubs third baseman advanced to second on an infield grounder off the bat of Chris Denorfia before scoring on the double to center – Szczur’s third two-bagger of the year.
The win marks Chicago’s seventh-straight over New York and also snapped the Mets’ four-game winning streak.
Bryant and leadoff man Dexter Fowler were the only Cubs players to record a hit apart from Szczur, who went 2-for-4 with a single and the aforementioned double.
Chicago gained a game in the standings on the Cardinals, who fell in extras to the White Sox at Busch Stadium Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, the Cubs will look to build on that momentum, sending ace Jon Lester (4-6, 4.03) to the hill in the second game of the series.
He will be opposed by timeless wonder Bartolo Colon (9-6, 4.89) of the Mets. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m. CT.