Cubs 3, Mets 2
NEW YORK (AP) _ Rookie Amaury Telemaco was on his way to his first major league complete-game shutout, but Jim Riegelman had other ideas.
``He hasn’t been past five innings in quite some time,″ the Chicago manager said after the Cubs’ bullpen survived a shaky ninth inning for a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.
Telemaco, who was called up from Iowa on May 14, struck out five and walked two. He retired 11 in a row until Edgardo Alfonzo opened the eighth inning with a single. Two outs later, Larry Casian relieved.
``I didn’t want Lance (Johnson) to make it a one-run game. Even if he got Johnson, he was done for the night. Rather than face Lance I gambled and took him out. It had nothing to do with the pitch count (Telemaco threw 103 pitches). It was just a case of trying to nail it down.″
Ken Bottenfield was on the mound for the bottom of the ninth. The Mets quickly put runners on second and third with none out in the ninth before Bob Patterson struck out Todd Hundley looking and retired Carlos Baerga on a groundout.
Alex Ochoa then singled to shortstop, driving in a run, and Alfonzo singled to right before pinch-hitter Chris Jones grounded out on Turk Wendell’s first pitch. Wendell earned his 12th save.
``Our bullpen has been outstanding before tonight,″ Riggleman said. ``The Mets had some great at-bats against us. Especially (Edgardo) Alfonzo. He gets better and better every game he plays and we’ve had our hands full with him.″
Telemaco (5-6), a 22-year-old righthander who had two losses and five no-decisions in his last seven starts, struck out five and walked two. The only hits he allowed were a pair of singles by Alfonzo.
Telemaco, who has only gone past the fifth inning once in his previous seven starts, explained, ``I kept my slider down and the fastballs away from them. I would have loved to stay, but it was his decision.′
``My arm wasn’t tired and I felt in good shape. Johnson had two home runs against me last week, so maybe that entered into the manager’s decision,″ he said.
Jose Hernandez and Dave Magadan each hit solo home runs for the Cubs and Luis Gonzales had an RBI groundout.
Pete Harnisch (8-8), who had won his three previous starts, lasted six innings and allowed the three runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking four.
Hernandez’s eighth home run, with two outs in the fourth inning, came on a 1-1 pitch and broke his 1-for-13 slump as the Cubs took a 1-0 lead.
Magadan hit his second homer of the season on a 3-2 pitch with one out in the fifth. Mark Grace and Sammy Sosa each hit singles and Gonzalez grounded out to second, scoring Grace to make it 3-0.
Notes: The Cubs are now 59-59. The last time they were. 500 was May 6 when they were 16-16. ... Mark Grace now has a seven-game hitting streak. He is 15-for-32 (.469) over that span. ...Telemaco was involved in a no-decision against the Mets in his only other start against them. ... The Cubs have scored 90 runs in Telamaco’s 16 starts. ... Magadan’s only other homer this season was as a pinch-hitter on July 12 against St. Louis. ... For the second straight game, Hundley failed to hit the ball out of the infield. ... Harnisch has given up a team-leading 24 home runs this season. Hernandez’s HR in the fourth inning snapped Harnisch’s 11-inning scoreless streak ... Bernard Gilkey doubled off the wall against Bottenfield in the ninth, making him 7-for-9 in his career against the right-hander.