Cubs hammer Syndergaard, hold off Mets 10-7 to gain on Cards

The Chicago Cubs built a lead the New York Mets couldn’t overcome Wednesday night. Might’ve done the same in the National League playoff race, too.

Kyle Schwarber hit one of visiting Chicago’s three homers against a stunned Noah Syndergaard, and the Cubs jumped to an early nine-run advantage before closer Craig Kimbrel held off the Mets in the ninth inning for a 10-7 victory.

“We were awesome the first three innings,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said.

Nicholas Castellanos and Ian Happ also took Syndergaard (9-7) deep in the worst start of the 2016 All-Star’s career. Syndergaard allowed 10 runs and three homers — both his most in the majors — and was pulled after three miserable innings.

“I’m disappointed in myself,” Syndergaard said. “I had an opportunity to go out there and do something big tonight and I let the team down.”

Nine of the runs charged to Syndergaard were earned, and he allowed nine hits while striking out five. The right-hander had entering with eight consecutive quality starts and had a 1.82 ERA in that span.

Kimbrel entered with a three-run lead and let his first two batters reach in the ninth before getting his 12th save. He escaped a 3-0 count against red-hot Amed Rosario with a fielder’s choice, struck out Juan Lagares and got Todd Frazier to fly out.

Chicago stayed two games ahead of Philadelphia for the second NL wild card and stretched its lead over the Mets to four. The Cubs also pulled to two games behind the NL Central-leading Cardinals.

New York has dropped five straight, all at home, and lost steam on an improbable second-half surge into the postseason chase. The Mets will try to avoid a three-game sweep Thursday night with Jacob deGrom pitching before traveling to Philadelphia for a pivotal three-game series this weekend.

Philles 12, Pirates 3: J.T. Realmuto had three hits, including a homer and a triple, Corey Dickerson also went deep and host Philadelphia got at least one hit and RBI from every starter.

Yankees 7, Mariners 3: Aaron Judge hit the 101st homer of his career, Gary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu and Mike Ford also went deep, and visiting New York completed a three-game sweep.

Brewers 4, Cardinals 1: Keston Hiura homered and drove in three runs, Jordan Lyles turned in another strong start and host Milwaukee snapped St. Louis’ six-game winning streak.

Indians 4, Tigers 2: Jason Kipnis homered twice and Francisco Lindor once for visiting Cleveland, 14-1 this year against Detroit.

Braves 9, Blue Jays 4: In Toronto, Freddie Freeman hit his 36th home run and drove in a pair of runs, and Matt Joyce homered and had two RBIs for Atlanta.

Reds 5, Marlins 0: Aristides Aquino tied a National League rookie mark with his 13th home run this month, powering visiting Cincinnati over Miami. Eugenio Suarez hit his 38th homer, connecting in the fourth straight game for the Reds.

Nationals 8, Orioles 4: Max Scherzer struck out eight to reach the 200 mark for an eighth straight season, and Kurt Suzuki homered and drove in four runs for host Washington.

Twins 8, White Sox 2: Jonathan Schoop hit two homers and drove in four runs, Mitch Garver also connected and visiting Minnesota defeated Chicago for its fourth straight win.

Astros 8, Rays 6: George Springer broke a tie with a bloop RBI single in host Houston’s three-run seventh inning.

Red Sox 7, Rockies 4: Xander Bogaerts went deep twice as visiting Boston extended its home run streak to 18 games.

Rangers 3, Angels 0: Rookie Nick Solak’s sixth-inning RBI single broke a scoreless tie, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa added a two-run double in the eighth inning for visiting Texas.

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