Daniel Murphy ends HR drought with two in Mets' 17-1 rout of Cubs
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CHICAGO -- That sound you heard from the Windy City Wednesday was collective exhaling from the Mets. Especially about Daniel Murphy.
In one seismic offensive performance, the Mets did away with a four-game losing streak and Murphy's nearly yearlong homerless streak. Murphy hit two -- in consecutive at-bats -- as the Mets bombed the Cubs, 17-1, at Wrigley Field.
After a pair of ragged losses to the team with the worst record (26-49) in baseball, the Mets (40-36) avoided the sweep by unloading with season highs in runs and homers (four). They had 16 hits.
Four players accounted for all of the runs.
David Wright drove in five with a two-run double, two-run single and sacrifice fly before getting the final 3 1/2 innings off.
Ike Davis drove in four with a three-run homer and RBI double and ended the game over .200 for the first time this year.
Scott Hairston hit a grand slam during the Mets' second consecutive six-run inning. Murphy drove in four, too.
The Mets had their highest scoring total since they had 18 at Wrigley on Sept. 5, 2010.
"We haven't had a lot of days where we've had multiple guys come up big," manager Terry Collins said. "We had a thought going into spring training that we would have more of those. I'm hoping it's something that continues, for sure."
The biggest hit of the day came in the fourth when Murphy (3-for-5, four RBIs) drove a 1-and-0 pitch from Jeff Samardzija into the rightfield bleachers. It was his first home run since July 16, 2011, a span of 352 at-bats.
"The fact that the wind was blowing out didn't hurt," Murphy said. "The first one wasn't unbelievable -- I kind of hit it with one hand. The second ball I hit pretty well."
It was the first multi-homer game of Murphy's career.
"It was a relief to help the team win," Murphy said. "If we win ballgames and we make the playoffs, I don't need to hit another one all year."
The Mets had come off two performances that Collins called "bad baseball." He challenged his club to "turn it around right now," and they did.
Collins was hot after Tuesday's 5-3 loss, but that didn't stop him from having a soothing postgame chat with Lucas Duda about a third-inning baserunning blunder.
Duda took the blame for not attempting to score from first on Davis' two-out double. "I said, 'Well, what are you going to get out of it?' " Collins said. "He said, 'Well, it won't happen again.' That's part of the process. When you make a mistake, you learn from the mistake."
As often happens, a similar situation arose Wednesday.
Duda was on first in the fourth inning of a 1-1 game when Davis doubled to right. Duda hesitated around second base after getting deked by shortstop Starlin Castro, but still made it home ahead of the relay throw to make it 2-1.
Murphy followed one batter later with his first home run and a 4-1 lead. The Mets scored six in the fifth on Wright's two-run double, Davis' three-run homer and Murphy's solo shot.
In the sixth, Wright had a two-run single and Hairston uncorked a grand slam to center to make it 16-1. It was Hairston's 10th homer of the season and second career grand slam.
Niese (6-3) went seven innings and allowed one run on eight hits. Samardzija (5-7) was charged with nine runs in 4 1/3 innings and Coleman allowed seven in 1 2/3.
Icing on the cake: Davis (3-for-5) doubled in the eighth to raise his average from .197 to .201.
"I'm there?" Davis joked. "Obviously, I don't want to hit .200 for the year. But it's a step in the right direction from one-whatever-I-was-at for a long time."