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Wood helps himself as Rizzo lifts Cubs to sweep

Starter has three RBIs to help set up first baseman's go-ahead homer

CHICAGO -- Shortly after the Cubs had surrendered the lead in the top of the seventh inning, Anthony Rizzo took a massive swing at a 2-0 pitch in the bottom of the frame as though he was trying to hit over Sheffield Avenue, beyond right field, and onto the next side street east of Wrigley Field.

"The 2-0 swing was a little big, so I stepped out and regrouped," Rizzo said.

One pitch later, on a 3-1 count, Rizzo produced a smooth compact stroke on a fastball and launched a long solo blast deep into the right-field bleachers for the go-ahead run en route to the Cubs' 7-4 victory over the Mets on Thursday night.

"It was nice," he said. "I put a pretty good swing on it and didn't try to do too much."

After rallying for comeback victories the first two games of the series, the Cubs completed their first three-game sweep of the season and their first of the Mets in Chicago since April 2004.

Rizzo, who connected off reliever Vic Black (1-1), now has 11 homers this season.

Cubs reliever Justin Grimm (2-2) earned the win despite allowing the Mets to rally for two runs and tie the score in the top of the seventh. The Cubs had led, 4-0, heading into the sixth, when the Mets halved the deficit with a pair of RBI singles.

"Any time you can take a series and then sweep like we did today, it's a good thing," manager Rick Renteria said. "Those guys have been battling, and they continue to grind. Obviously, we gave up the lead, and then we ended up taking it back."

The Cubs are 11 games below .500, but the win improves them to 13-13 at home.

The first two games of the series had strange twists, so it was probably no surprise that the first scoring play of the finale was unusual, to say the least.

It appeared that a Cubs rally in the second inning would fall short, as Luis Valbuena was called out at the plate trying to score from third base on a fly ball to left field by Eli Whiteside. Mets left fielder Andrew Brown threw the ball on the fly to catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who applied the tag -- or appeared to.

"Quite frankly, Luis, he looked in at us [immediately] and said, 'He didn't get me,'" Renteria said. "That's kind of the first thing we look at."

The call was reversed after the Cubs challenged, and suddenly they had a one-run lead. Equally important for Chicago was that the inning continued after the Mets thought the frame was over.

"Fly ball to left, Browny made a great throw." d'Arnaud said. "I caught it and tried to tag him as quickly as I could. I know I tagged him, but the review was on whether he got his hand in or not, and I guess he did.

"That was a big momentum swing for them."

The next batter, starting pitcher Travis Wood, drilled the first offering from counterpart Jacob deGrom deep into the left-field bleachers for a two-run homer and a three-run lead.

"Yeah, I knew he was a good-hitting pitcher," deGrom said. "I wanted to get that ball on the outside corner, it just tailed back over the middle."

It was Wood's second homer of the season and the eighth of his career.

"I feel like we're commanded to hit in this league," Wood said, "so why not try to be the best you can at it?"

The Cubs stretched the lead to four runs in the fourth inning on a groundout by Wood, who is batting .273 with eight RBIs in 22 at-bats.

The Mets finally broke through with two runs in the sixth to chase Wood, who went five-plus innings, allowing two runs on four hits with five walks and three strikeouts.

"Bottom line is, five walks can't happen," he said.

The Mets tied it in the seventh when Brown, in his first game since returning from the Minors, cranked a two-run homer.

But an inning after Rizzo's homer provided a slight edge, the Cubs got some breathing room with Junior Lake's two-run triple.

"It's nice to win a close game," Rizzo said. "We blew the lead, and we could have just caved in, but we came back and won."

John Jackson is a contributor to
Read More: Chicago Cubs, Travis Wood, Anthony Rizzo