NEW YORK – Night after night, Victor Caratini and the Chicago Cubs kept finding ways to beat the New York Mets.
Like something out of “Groundhog Day”?
“Kinda was, for three days,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
Noted Cubs fan Bill Murray — and star of the popular 1993 movie — certainly agreed. He was in the clubhouse after a 4-1 win Thursday that completed a sweep.
“Very professional series,” Murray said.
Caratini homered twice off Mets ace Jacob deGrom, including a tiebreaking, three-run drive in the seventh inning as Chicago left Citi Field with three straight wins.
Jon Lester (11-9) pitched six effective innings to help the Cubs increase their lead for the second NL wild-card spot to 2½ games.
New York lost its sixth in a row, all at home. Full of hope a week ago, the Mets dropped five games behind the Cubs.
“That one stings,” deGrom said.
Caratini lofted a solo homer in the second that made it 1-1. That was Chicago’s only hit until it struck in the seventh.
Kris Bryant hit a one-out single off shortstop Amed Rosario’s glove, and Javier Baez grounded a single up the middle. Caratini fell behind 1-2, fouled off two pitches and then pulled a drive into the second deck in right field.
“I was just trying to be aggressive. I know he attacks a lot,” Caratini said.
The crowd of 38,389 fell silent as the Cubs backup catcher rounded the bases with his ninth home run of the season and second career multihomer game. He became the fourth player to connect twice in a game against deGrom, joining Mitch Garver this year, Giancarlo Stanton in 2016 and Mark Teixeira in 2015.
Twins 10, White Sox 5
In Chicago, Jake Cave homered twice, C.J. Cron went deep and surging Minnesota set a major league record for home runs on the road in a victory over the White Sox.
Cave led off the third with a drive off Dylan Cease (3-7) to give the Twins 139 homers away from home, eclipsing the mark of 138 set by San Francisco in 2001. Cron, the next hitter, followed with a homer to center.
Indians 2, Tigers 0
In Detroit, Mike Clevinger tossed eight overpowering inning and Francisco Lindor homered and drove in both runs as Cleveland continued its domination of the hosts.
In Other Games
Marlins 4, Reds 3 (12)
Diamondbacks 11, Dodgers 5
Athletics 9, Royals 8
Mariners 5, Rangers 3
Rays 9, Astros 8
Pirates 11, Rockies 8
Padres 5, Giants 3