Flushing, NY – Dillon Gee had a much easier time against the Cubs than he did 12 days earlier, giving up just one run in eight innings on Saturday to lead the Mets to a 3-1 win.
Gee (6-7) battled to make pitches against the Cubs last week, lasting just five innings in a 5-3 loss. But he breezed through the first four innings of this one and had little trouble after that, allowing seven hits and striking out four with no walks to snap a two-start losing streak.
It was only his second win in his last eight outings. Ike Davis hit a two-run homer and Jordany Valdespin had a solo shot to back his start. Bobby Parnell escaped a leadoff double by Anthony Rizzo in the ninth for his second save.
The Cubs won the opener of the three-game series 8-7 on Friday, escaping a three-run Mets rally in the ninth inning, but they had little success against Gee on Saturday.
Starter Jeff Samardzija (6-8) took the loss, allowing three runs in seven innings. The righty, who beat the Braves his last time out to snap a four- start losing streak, gave up seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
The Mets improved to 7-3 in their last 10. They also beat Samardzija on June 27, getting nine runs off him in 4 1/3 innings in a 17-1 win.
"I didn't think I pitched bad early," said Samardzija. "It's just those two homers. Those pitches over the plate will get you."
Gee faced the minimum through four innings. Starlin Castro singled in the first but was caught stealing and Samardzija bunted into a double play in the third after a Luis Valbuena single.
The Mets righty considered his early success a bonus considering the first few innings are when he's usually trying to figure things out.
"If I go out there and can put up zeroes," he said, "it allows me to find it."
Meanwhile, the Mets built a 3-0 lead on the homers by Valdespin and Davis.
Valdespin hit a one-out blast in the second inning, his fourth of the season, and Davis knocked his 12th off the upper deck with two outs in the third to make it 3-0, scoring Ruben Tejada after a leadoff single.
Valbuena doubled to start the sixth inning and came around on a David DeJesus single for Chicago's only run.
Rizzo was stranded at second base in the ninth inning. Tejada made an over- the-shoulder catch on Bryan LaHair's pop-up for the second out, tracking the ball to shallow left-center field, and Parnell struck out Steve Clevenger to end the game.
The Cubs are 3-2 in the season series. Sunday is their last meeting of the year...The Mets are 3-2 on a six-game homestand and the Cubs are 3-3 on a seven-game road trip.