CHICAGO - The day after turning in a defensive highlight, Ruben Tejada grabbed most of the attention with his bat during Sunday's 18-5 crushing of the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Tejada, who was hitting only .185 coming into the game, went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly, his first major-league home run and five RBIs. He also did something that the Mets have rarely done this season - come through with the bases loaded.
With the score tied at 4 in the fifth inning, the Mets had the bases full with none out. Cubs starter Ryan Dempster struck out Lucas Duda and Josh Thole and had two strikes on Tejada, but he followed with a two-run single up the middle. The Mets were hitting .189 with the bases loaded and two outs this season.
Tejada also completed an unlikely double play. With a runner on first and one out, Cubs rookie Starlin Castro grounded to Ike Davis, who threw to Tejada for a forceout at second. But Castro wandered away from first base, thinking the inning was over, and Tejada fired to Davis for the tag to retire the side.
There was some confusion on Tejada's homer, which bounced off the top of the brick wall in left-center and hopped back onto the field. Tejada slid into third, then was relieved to see the home run signal.
"I said thank you," Tejada said.
Jose Reyes took batting practice, and the Mets think he could return during this week's series in Washington. But Reyes still feels lingering discomfort from his oblique strain . . . Jonathon Niese stumbled off the mound in the fourth inning and fell, in a scene reminiscent of his hamstring tear last season. This time, however, he was OK and stayed in the game.