CHICAGO (AP) — Cubs top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay tossed four innings of dazzling relief in his major league debut and the offense broke through with a six-run third as Chicago beat the New York Mets 7-4 on Thursday night.
Javier Báez homered and tripled, and Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run double as the NL Central leaders improved to 26-12 at Wrigley Field.
Rookie slugger Pete Alonso hit his 25th homer and Todd Frazier connected for the 200th of his career for the Mets, who dropped to 15-26 on the road. Before the game, they fired pitching coach Dave Eiland and bullpen coach Chuck Hernández — but it made little difference on this night.
Alonso tied Dodgers star Cody Bellinger (2017) for most homers by an NL rookie before the All-Star break. Alonso also is one shy of the Mets’ rookie mark set by Darryl Strawberry in 1983.
Alzolay (1-0) replaced starter Tyler Chatwood to begin the fifth. The right-hander struck out five and didn’t allow a hit until Frazier’s leadoff homer in the ninth. Alzolay was replaced after walking the next batter, Wilson Ramos.
The 24-year-old was recalled before the game from Triple-A Iowa, where he went 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in six starts this season. He had 46 strikeouts in 32 innings with a WHIP of 0.94.
Steve Cishek got three outs for his seventh save.
New York spot starter Walker Lockett (0-1) retired his first six batters and had a 3-0 lead when he took the mound in the third following Alonso’s two-run shot. But things quickly fell apart for the 25-year-old right-hander, who was pitching in place of injured Noah Syndergaard.
Carlos González led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Chatwood. Daniel Descalso followed with an RBI single. Kyle Schwarber walked and Kris Bryant hit a bloop to right that fell in for a run-scoring single. With runners on the corners, Rizzo doubled down the right field line to score both and give Chicago a 4-2 lead.
The Cubs weren’t done. Báez tripled to center to score Rizzo. After Lockett was yanked, Báez scored on a wild pitch by Brooks Pounders to make it 6-3.
Báez hit his 18th homer in the seventh.