By Carrie Muskat and Troy Provost-Heron
NEW YORK -- A trio of rain delays were not enough to water down the Mets' offense on Friday as New York clubbed five home runs en route to a 10-2 victory over the Cubs at Citi Field to take a two-games-to-none advantage in the four-game series.
First pitch was delayed 11 minutes due to weather, but James Loney and Asdrubal Cabrera were content with the wait as they slugged back-to-back home runs in the second inning to get the Mets going before a storm rolled through and delayed the game for an hour and eight minutes.
After the rain stopped, the balls continued to leave the yard. Kris Bryant trimmed the Mets' lead down to 4-1 with a solo home run in the fourth, and then Brandon Nimmo responded with a three-run home run, the first of his career, a half-inning later. Yoenis Cespedes and Cabrera each homered in the fifth.
Starters Jacob deGrom and Jason Hammel both returned to the mound after play resumed. DeGrom allowed only three hits over five-plus innings while striking out seven. Hammel allowed a season-high 10 runs over four-plus innings.
"A lot of that is dictated by the number of pitches he threw [before the delay] and the intensity of those pitches," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "[deGrom] was throwing pretty good, so we let him go back out, and to be honest we needed him to give us a couple more innings."
Rain caused yet another delay, this one lasting 40 minutes, in the sixth before the two teams took the field for the final time to complete a four-hour, 45-minute game (including delays).
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Aiding the ace: A lack of run support has been a common theme for deGrom this season. The Mets had scored just one run over the right-hander's past three starts. But on Friday, the Mets provided more than enough support -- the 10 runs marked the most they have scored in a deGrom start this season -- to help the 28-year-old pick up his first win since April 30.
"We were chasing some bad pitches," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the team's approach to deGrom. "He was elevating intentionally, and we have to lay off that particular pitch. No doubt we have to do a better job contacting the ball, especially with two strikes."
Anytime you get runs it's nice, but I try not to think about that," deGrom said. "I try to go out there and put up zeros." More >
Rookie raking: On Thursday, Nimmo picked up his first career RBI that helped fuel a comeback victory in the series opener. On Friday, the rookie outfielder continued to rake in his very first series at Citi Field, launching his first career home run 442 feet, according to Statcast™, the longest home run hit by a Met this season. More >
Blast off: Bryant moved into sole possession of the National League lead in home runs when he belted his 23rd with one out in the Cubs' fourth, launching a 2-1 pitch from deGrom into the second deck in left field. It was Bryant's second homer in as many games and sixth in his past eight games. Bryant is the first Cubs player to reach 23 homers by the All-Star break since Derrek Lee belted 27 in 2005.
Big apple: Hammel's start Friday is one he'd rather forget. The right-hander served up a career-high five home runs, and the 10 runs off him also were a career high. His ERA jumped from 2.58 to 3.45. Hammel had been on a good run and had given up 12 runs over 31 1/3 innings in five starts in June.
"I always talk about fastball command," Maddon said. "He was throwing his fastball, and it was not going where he wanted it to and they weren't missing it. ... He just got hit tonight, that's all." More >
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With a home run, a two-run double and a single against Hammel, Loney is now hitting .364 (16-for-44) against the right-hander in his career with four home runs and 12 RBIs. The four home runs are the most Loney has hit against any pitcher in his career.
The five home runs off Hammel matched a Cubs franchise record for most allowed in a single game by a single pitcher. It's been done six times, and most recently by Travis Wood on July 27, 2012, against the Cardinals.
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs:Jake Arrieta walked five over five innings in his last start against the Reds. The problem? Fastball command. On Saturday, he'll try to get back on track against the Mets. He's 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA in five career regular-season starts against the Mets. First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. CT.
Mets:Bartolo Colon will get the start for the Mets in the third game of this four-game series Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET. The 43-year-old right-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven consecutive starts. He is 1-2 with a 3.76 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) against the Cubs.