Matz dominates, Mets beat Cubs 8-1 in final spring tuneup

Steven Matz didn't allow a run over five hitless innings and Yoenis Cespedes hit his first spring homer to lead the New York Mets past the Chicago Cubs 8-1 Friday and end a 14-game winless streak in their last exhibition game.

The Mets open the regular season at Kansas City on Sunday night.

Matz struck out six and allowed two walks while lowering his spring ERA to 4.94.

"This is definitely a good way to go into the season," Matz said. "My slider was working and it's definitely something I'm going to be using. I'm definitely getting to where I need to be."

Ty Kelly hit a three-run homer in the eighth and Eric Campbell and T.J. Rivera each hit solo homers in the ninth for New York.

The Cubs had just three hits and scored their run on John Andreoli's bases-loaded walk in the sixth. Jason Hammel started and allowed two runs (one earned) over four innings.

Kris Bryant's streak of reaching safely ended at nine games for the Cubs. He struck out to lead off the game in his only plate appearance.


Mets: Matz threw 44 of his 73 pitches for strikes.

Cubs: Hammel struck out six and allowed five hits and one walk. He finished the spring 2-2 with a 4.63 ERA.


The Mets finalized their opening day roster with catcher Kevin Plawecki and pitchers Jim Henderson and Logan Verrett all making the squad. They reassigned pitcher Zack Thornton and catcher Johnny Monell to Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned pitchers Sean Gilmartin and Erik Goeddel and infielder Matt Reynolds to the 51s. Pitchers Josh Edgin and Zack Wheeler have been placed on the 15-day disabled list.


Friday afternoon's game drew 10,995. The two-game series, which was split with the Cubs winning Thursday, drew 20,020. Both games sold out.

This is the third Mets' trip to Las Vegas, the home of their Triple-A affiliate. They were here in 1997 and 2014, when they played the Cubs.

The Mets' David Wright was 0 for 2 Friday. He said the trip to Las Vegas is a fitting way to get ready for the regular season.

"It's nice to get to a city and get on the road," Wright said. "This is a nice way to get ready. You get into a hotel — it's nice preparation to get into a road game."

This is the 27th exhibition game the Cubs have played in Las Vegas. They have made a trip to Sin City every year since 2005 and have traveled here since 1993. Chicago is now 14-13 in Las Vegas.


Mets: New York opens the regular season at Kansas City on Sunday night. Despite medical issues this week, Matt Harvey will start for the Mets, who will face the Royals' Edinson Volquez. The Mets will play a two-game series there with the other game on Tuesday.

Cubs: Chicago travels to Anaheim to take on the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday in an exhibition game. Kyle Hendricks will start against Matt Shoemaker. The Cubs open the regular season Monday night against the Angels in Anaheim.