NEW YORK (AP) — Christopher Morel hit a two-run homer off Edwin Díaz to snap a ninth-inning tie and the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 3-1 on Monday night after being held hitless by Luis Severino into the eighth.

Dansby Swanson singled off Severino with nobody out in the eighth for Chicago’s first hit, putting runners at first and second following a leadoff walk to Michael Busch.

With runners at the corners and one out, pinch-hitter Nick Madrigal hit a broken-bat grounder to third baseman Joey Wendle, who had just entered for defense. Wendle easily could have thrown out Busch at the plate, cutting off the tying run. Instead, the veteran infielder made an ill-advised decision to try for an inning-ending double play. Madrigal beat the relay to first and the Cubs evened it 1-all.

Brandon Nimmo hit his 13th career leadoff homer for the Mets, but Jameson Taillon shut them down after that in a fast-moving pitchers’ duel that zipped by at a breakneck pace.

Taillon allowed four hits in 7 1/3 innings, throwing 57 of his 78 pitches for strikes.

Mark Leiter Jr. (1-1) got two outs for the win, and Héctor Neris worked around two walks in the ninth for his fourth save. With two runners aboard, he struck out pinch-hitters DJ Stewart and Brett Baty to end a game that took just 2 hours, 5 minutes.

Mike Tauchman doubled off Díaz (0-1) with one out in the ninth. One out later, Morel drove a 3-1 fastball to left-center for his fourth home run.

A two-out walk to Ian Happ in the fourth was Chicago’s only baserunner until Severino plunked Tauchman with a pitch leading off the seventh.


Cubs: LHP Justin Steele (left hamstring strain) is expected to throw about 60-65 pitches Wednesday in a rehab start for Triple-A Iowa. It’s possible he could rejoin Chicago’s rotation after that, manager Craig Counsell said. Steele has been on the injured list since leaving his opening-day start March 28. … RHP Kyle Hendricks (lower back strain) is trending toward a rehab start later this week, Counsell said.

Mets: RHP Kodai Senga (right shoulder capsule strain) faced hitters for the first time since getting hurt, throwing 21 pitches of live batting practice against minor leaguers at Citi Field. Senga told reporters he’ll face batters two more times before beginning a minor league rehab assignment. He said he thinks he’ll be able to return from the injured list right around when he’s eligible on May 27, or soon afterward.


Cubs RHP Javier Assad (2-0, 2.00 ERA) starts Tuesday night against LHP Sean Manaea (1-1, 3.33) in the second game of the four-game series.