Cespedes, Cabrera (2), Loney and Nimmo all go deep in rout of Cubs
By Joshua Needelman
NEW YORK -- At 9:57 p.m. ET on Friday night, Frank Padilla thought to himself, "this is going to be the one." The Yonkers, N.Y., native was sitting in section 134 at Citi Field, and Yoenis Cespedes' 20th homer of the year was screaming toward him.
"I touched it, and so did the guy behind me," Padilla said. "I went glove hand, and it hit the base of my fingers. It was crushed."
The Mets hit five home runs in their 10-2 win over the Cubs, marking the first time they've accomplished the feat at home since 2000 and the fifth time ever. Cespedes' fifth-inning blast was followed by Asdrubal Cabrera's second of the game, and James Loney and Brandon Nimmo chipped in with homers of their own.
For a Mets team that scored a Major League-low 86 runs in June, Friday sparked a euphoric reaction among fans. Padilla was one of the fans that braved three rain delays, which nearly lasted a combined two hours.
"Person next to me, in front of me, everyone around me just going and giving high fives," said Tyler Martin, who was sitting in section 135. "Those home runs make everybody come together."
Loney started the madness in the second inning with a solo blast that hung high in the air before bouncing off the 'Pro Player' sign abutting the second deck in right field. His second homer in three games pushed his season total to four, the same number he hit last season when he played 104 games with the Rays.
"I've known this kid since he was 18 years old. Anytime you see him swing the bat you think, 'Boy, this guy is going to develop power.'" manager Terry Collins said. "He just developed into a good hitter who has some power."
Two pitches after Loney's blast, Cabrera gave the Mets a 2-0 lead with his ninth dinger of the season.
It was the first time in a while right-hander Jacob deGrom pitched with ample run support. He tossed five innings of one-run ball, earning his first win since April 30. The Mets had scored one run in his previous three starts.
By the start of the sixth, the Mets were boasting a nine-run lead and seemed destined to pick up their second win in a row over the Cubs, who at 51 wins are tied with the Giants for the most wins in the National League.
"Home runs are contagious. They come in bunches," Kelly Johnson said. "Always exciting to get out to big leads like that."
After finishing second in the National League with 40 homers in May, the Mets hit only 25 in June. Collins has repeatedly emphasized how important the long ball is to his team's offensive success, and it played a big role Friday night.
With Nimmo providing a spark early in his career and Loney providing surprising production, the Mets could have the complementary pieces to pair with the big names in their lineup.
Padilla, for what it's worth, believes the Mets are rounding into form.
"Every shot, we were excited for every one," he said. "First, celebrate with the wife, then celebrate with everyone around us."
Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.