David Peterson pitched one-hit ball over six scoreless innings for his first win in two months, and the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs at home for the first time in exactly four years with a 5-2 victory Monday night.
Dominic Smith homered for the Mets, who stopped Chicago’s five-game winning streak in the opener of a four-game series between NL division leaders. New York scored all its runs with two outs and earned its first win at Citi Field against the Cubs since a 9-4 victory on June 14, 2017.
Chicago won the next seven meetings in Queens — a four-game sweep in 2018 and a three-game whitewash in 2019 — by a combined margin of 40-16. The teams didn’t play each other during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Peterson (2-5) was 0-4 with a 6.32 ERA in his last nine starts, including 0-2 with a 9.88 ERA in his previous four appearances. But he allowed just a third-inning single to Eric Sogard — then picked him off second to end the inning — and a leadoff walk in the sixth to Sergio Alcantara.
“Being able to execute over and over again tonight felt really good,” Peterson said.
The second-year lefty, who was 6-2 with a 3.44 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) as a rookie, struck out three in a tidy 73-pitch performance.
“We believe in David and we know how good he is and how good he can be — and he showed it tonight and he’s showed it in the past,” Smith said. “That’s a No. 1 team in their division, so to go against a good club like that and compete and show that he wasn’t afraid … we’re just happy he was able to do it tonight.”
Smith, who was 2 for 3 with a walk, also ended a slump Monday. The left fielder, moved into the No. 3 spot in the lineup by manager Luis Rojas, walked in the first before breaking out of an 0-for-20 stretch in the fourth, when he singled for the Mets’ first hit off Jake Arrieta.
Smith advanced to second when Billy McKinney drew a two-out walk and scored on James McCann’s single. Kevin Pillar clipped McKinney, who was leading off third base, with a foul ball one pitch before hitting a two-run double to left-center.
Smith homered to center in the fifth to make it 4-0.
“I just felt good. I went through my routine today, I had a purpose for it,” said Smith, who said his legs felt stronger than they did over the weekend. “If I’m balanced, I’m going to be a dangerous player in that box. I just have to get consistent with that. When I do, that’s when I go on my little hot streaks.”
Pillar and Luis Guillorme drew back-to-back walks in the sixth before pinch-hitter Brandon Drury delivered an RBI single.
Anthony Rizzo and Patrick Wisdom hit back-to-back homers off reliever Trevor May in the seventh. The homer was Wisdom’s ninth in 20 games with the Cubs, the second-most by a Chicago player in his first 20 games behind Hank Sauer (10 homers in 20 games in 1954).
Aaron Loup retired all four batters he faced before Edwin Diaz earned his 13th save by striking out the side in a perfect ninth.
“I think we strung together good at-bats, we just came up a little bit short,” Wisdom said.
Arrieta (5-7) allowed four runs on four hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out three.
“Just didn’t do the job in the fourth inning,” Arrieta said. “At that point, the game wasn’t necessarily out of reach, but when you hand the ball to their bullpen with a three- or four-run lead, it’s not a good situation for us.”
Taijuan Walker (5-2, 2.07 ERA) looks to keep up his hot stretch as he takes the bump Tuesday against the Cubs, who will return with Alec Mills (2-0, 6.08 ERA), at 7:10 p.m.
(photo: Getty Images)