CHICAGO — Kevin Elster's bloop RBI single broke a ninth-inning tie and Howard Johnson added a grand slam as the New York Mets continued their offensive onslaught by beating the Chicago Cubs 15-10 today in the first game of a doubleheader.
The Mets, who had 19 runs and 21 hits in Tuesday's victory, added 20 more hits against four Cub pitchers, enabling them to overcome five Chicago homers on another windy day at Wrigley Field.
Daryl Boston led off the ninth with a double to left off Les Lancaster (5-3). Mackey Sasser reached on a fielder's choice when Boston beat second baseman Ryne Sandberg's throw to third. A walk to Gregg Jefferies loaded the bases.
Elster then blooped his tie-breaking hit to short right field. After Orlando Mercado hit into a forceout at home plate, Johnson hit the first pitch into the right-field seats for his fifth career grand slam.
The Mets, who trailed 8-3 after five innings, scored twice in the sixth on Tom O'Malley's solo homer and Jefferies' pinch-hit RBI single, then took the lead with five runs in the seventh.
Singles by Dave Magadan, Johnson and Darryl Strawberry off Lancaster loaded the bases. After O'Malley struck out, Kevin McReynolds' infield single scored one run.
Paul Assenmacher relieved Lancaster, who went to left field, but Boston's two-run single tied the game and Sasser singled in the go-ahead run. Lancaster then replaced Assenmacher and allowed Elster's sacrifice fly for a 10-8 lead.
Sandberg hit the first pitch by reliever Julio Machado for his second homer of the game in the bottom of the seventh and the Cubs tied the game in the eighth on a leadoff double by Marvell Wynne and pinch-hitter Dave Clark's wind-blown triple to center field.
But the Cubs failed to get Clark home from third. Machado got Lancaster on a short liner to left, retired Jerome Walton on a comebacker and intentionally walked Sandberg. John Franco (3-0) then relieved and got Mark Grace on a grounder to second, ending Grace's hitting streak at 15 games.
The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first off starter Jeff Pico on Johnson's sacrifice fly and O'Malley's RBI double. Mark Carreon's run-scoring single in the second made it 3-0.
But the Cubs got a run in the bottom of the inning on Andre Dawson's leadoff solo homer, then knocked out Sid Fernandez in the third, scoring five runs.
Pico singled and Jerome Walton walked before Sandberg extended his hitting streak to nine games with a drive into the left-field bleachers. Two outs later, Luis Salazar singled and Dunston homered for a 6-3 lead.
The Cubs added two more in the fifth when Dawson singled and Salazar hit his third homer of the season off reliever Wally Whitehurst.