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Mets' Lucas Duda breaks out of slump with five RBIs in first two innings

New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (21)

New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (21) hits a two-run double in the second inning during Game 4 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

CHICAGO -- Lucas Duda broke out in a big way Wednesday night.

The slumping first baseman, who was hitting so poorly in the postseason that he bunted on Tuesday night, had five RBIs in the first two innings as the Mets beat the Cubs, 8-3, in Game 4 of the NLCS to advance to the World Series.

Duda, who went 3-for-4 with a walk, hit a two-out, three-run home run to center off Jason Hammel in the first inning on a 3-and-2 pitch. Travis d'Arnaud followed with a home run to right and the Mets had a 4-0 lead as they got to their first World Series since 2000.

It was the second instance of back-to-back home runs in Mets postseason history. Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds did it in the fourth inning of Game 4 of the 1988 NLCS vs. the Dodgers.

"It was only a matter of time before Duda broke out," rookie leftfielder Michael Conforto said. "He's a great hitter and he's very, very dangerous. He picked a great day to break out."

The Mets sent nine men to the plate in the first. Steven Matz batted before he threw a pitch. The Mets scored in the first inning in all four games against the Cubs (total of nine runs) and also scored one run in the first inning of Game 5 of the NLDS against the Dodgers.

Duda's home run was his first of the postseason. He came in with three hits in 24 at-bats (.125) with one RBI and 13 strikeouts. Duda was benched in NLCS Game 1 in favor of Michael Cuddyer against lefthander Jon Lester.

Duda also hit a two-out, two-run double off lefthander Travis Wood in the second inning to give the Mets a 6-0 lead.

"I think Kevin Long and Pat Roessler are very positive and the guys are always positive, too," Duda said. "It's definitely nice to contribute today. Hopefully we continue this for the next seven or so games."

Duda's five RBIs in the first two innings tied the franchise record for a whole postseason game. Curtis Granderson had five RBIs in Game 3 of the NLDS.

"Nice to get a win there," Duda said. "Nice to say we're headed to the World Series. It's a pretty surreal moment. Kind of letting it soak in right now. It's a special moment."


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