Victor Zambrano fired eight strong innings Sunday, helping the Mets complete a three-game sweep of Chicago with a 6-1 victory.
In a matchup of Venezuelan pitchers with identical surnames but no relation, Victor outpitched the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano, who left the game after three innings with a back injury, trailing 4-0.
David Wright had three RBI and Cliff Floyd hit his 26th homer for New York, which had no trouble keeping up their hot offensive performance of late – the Mets have amassed 48 runs over their last seven games.
Victor Zambrano held the Cubs to a run on five hits – the run coming on back-to-back doubles by Michael Barrett and Jose Macias in the eighth inning – before turning the game over to Aaron Heilman for a scoreless ninth.
Now comes the tricky part for the Mets, a club that has played much better at Shea Stadium (36-23) than they have on the road (21-31). The next six games take the Mets to San Diego and Los Angeles, with a three-game series opening Tuesday night against the Padres.
Back on the fringes of the postseason race (3.0 games behind in the Wild Card and 6-1/2 games behind Atlanta for the NL East), the Mets must heed this opportunity to prove they can put up runs on the road as well.
Off and running: Jose Reyes' hitting streak reached 20 games in the victory Sunday, with Reyes lacing a fourth-inning single to extend the longest active streak in the majors. Over the streak, Reyes is hitting .374, and needs just four more games to equal a club record co-held by Hubie Brooks and Mike Piazza.
Doug still out: Doug Mientkiewicz (bruised lower back) had hoped to be available by the time the Cubs left town, but with severe pain still nagging the first baseman, Mientkiewicz could wind up being a candidate for the disabled list Tuesday. The Mets will need to clear a spot for 2B Kaz Matsui, who played this weekend with Double-A Binghamton.
Minor League Report
TRIPLE-A NORFOLK: The Tides pushed across two runs in the ninth inning on a Joe Hietpas single and a bases-loaded walk to Anderson Hernandez, edging Louisville Sunday 3-2. Jason Scobie (14-5) hurled eight innings of two-run, six-hit ball, striking out eight, and Manny Aybar pitched the bottom of the ninth for his third save.
DOUBLE-A BINGHAMTON: Yusmeiro Petit (7-3) allowed just a solo home run over seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out seven as the B-Mets defeated Portland Sunday, 4-1. Rehabbing Kaz Matsui went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored in the win.
SINGLE-A ST. LUCIE: The Mets and Brevard County were suspended due to rain in the top of the third inning Sunday, with the Mets leading 1-0. The two clubs will pick it up at 5 p.m. Monday.
SINGLE-A HAGERSTOWN: The Suns fell at Lexington on Sunday, 5-2, with starter Matt Durkin (2-4) allowing a pair of solo home runs over the first three innings. Three Suns – Ambiorix Concepcion, Jesus Flores and Jim Burt – had two-hit games.
SINGLE-A BROOKLYN: Mahoning Valley pushed across a run in the eighth inning against Cyclones reliever Jake Joseph (0-1), helping the Scrappers to a 5-4 win over Brooklyn Sunday. Jeff Landing started for the Cyclones and allowed four runs (two earned) over six innings, while catcher Drew Butera doubled and drove in a run as part of a 2-for-4 day.
ROOKIE-LEAGUE KINGSPORT: Jose Mateo homered and D.J. Wabick added two RBI as the K-Mets defeated Burlington Sunday, 5-2. Alexis Beras (1-0) picked up his first win with two innings of scoreless, hitless relief of starter Jim Wladyka, who threw the first four frames.