NEW YORK (AP) Ian Happ, Nick Madrigal and Miguel Amaya teamed up for the game-ending double play Wednesday night, preserving the win for sensational rookie Shota Imanaga after he threw seven scoreless innings in the Chicago Cubs’ 1-0 victory over the New York Mets.

Hector Neris, who notched his fifth save, hit Pete Alonso with one out in the ninth and gave up a double to J.D. Martinez before Jeff McNeil flew out to Happ in left field. Alonso tagged up and raced home, but Madrigal - inserted at third base as a defensive replacement for Christopher Morel in the eighth - cut off Happ’s throw and whirled as he fired home to Amaya.

Alonso beat the throw, but Amaya had his foot on the plate and Alonso didn’t get his arm around the catcher.

“I thought we made a great play,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said. “Ian made a good throw to Nick and Nick put a throw right on the money. Just good wherewithal by both guys to do it as fast as they did and as accurately as they could. And a great tag by Miggy.”

The Mets challenged the play, but after a review of more than four minutes, umpire Derek Thomas - the replay official at the Replay Center in New York - determined Amaya did not violate the home plate collision rule and could not “… definitely determine that (Alonso) contacted home plate” before Amaya made the tag.

“A roller coaster of emotions overall, but happy it worked out for us,” Madrigal said.

The Cubs resumed celebrating once crew chief Chad Fairchild announced the call was upheld.

“Amazing,” Amaya said. “An electric end for us.”

Mets manager Carlos Mendoza argued with Fairchild.

“I think they got the wrong call,” Mendoza said. “Without possession of the baseball, he cannot be in front of the plate, straddle the plate or have his foot on top of the plate. Clearly, on the replay, that wasn’t the case. He was blocking without possession of the baseball.”

Imanaga (5-0) allowed three hits and walked one with seven strikeouts to lower his ERA to 0.78 - the fourth-lowest mark by a pitcher through his first six career starts since earned runs became official in both leagues in 1913.

“I think personally there’s probably not that much data on me,” Imanaga said through an interpreter. “As they watch more video, they’re gathering more data, they’re going to have a plan for attack against me. So once that happens, just need to make an adjustment and then I need to prove myself.”

The Mets got two on against Mark Leiter Jr. in the eighth before Yency Almonte struck out Tyrone Taylor and Starling Marte.

Former Mets farmhand Pete Crow-Armstrong - who was dealt to Chicago for Javier Báez at the 2021 trade deadline - had a sacrifice fly in the fifth, four pitches after his bat flew out of his hands and landed in the netting above the home dugout when he missed an offering from New York starter Jose Butto. The bat was retrieved by Citi Field security immediately after the sacrifice fly that drove in Matt Mervis.

Butto (0-2) gave up four hits in six innings for the Mets, whose starting pitchers have posted a 1.33 ERA in the last four games. He struck out six.


Cubs: RHP Justin Steele (left hamstring strain), who was injured Opening Day, began a rehab assignment Wednesday, when he allowed three runs over 3 1/3 innings for Triple-A Iowa. Manager Craig Counsell said he wasn’t sure if Steele would make another rehab start before rejoining the major league team. … RHP Kyle Hendricks (lower back strain) is scheduled to start and throw 75-80 pitches Thursday for Double-A Tennessee.

Mets: SS Francisco Lindor (flu-like symptoms) was 0 for 1 before exiting after the second inning. Lindor has missed just three out of a possible 354 games since the start of 2022. … Marte, who didn’t play Tuesday after being activated from the bereavement list, went 0 for 4 in his first action since Friday. … RHP Kodai Senga (shoulder) felt good after throwing live batting practice Monday and is slated to do so again Saturday


The four-game series concludes Thursday when Mets RHP Adrian Houser (0-3, 8.37 ERA) opposes Cubs RHP Ben Brown (0-1, 4.30 ERA).



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