Marcus Stroman’s efficiency carries Cubs to second straight victory against Mets

Notes: Right-hander Kyle Hendricks will start Thursday, manager David Ross announced after the game.

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Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman reacts after a double play to end the eighth inning in Wednesday’s game against the Mets.

Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman reacts after a double play to end the eighth inning in Wednesday’s game against the Mets.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Right-hander Marcus Stroman made his most efficient start of the season Wednesday — against his former team, no less.

In the Cubs’ 4-2 victory against the Mets, Stroman allowed two runs in a season-high eight innings. It was the first time the Cubs had won back-to-back games since May 10 against the Cardinals and May 12 against the Twins.

‘‘I really don’t play into it too much, to be honest with you,’’ Stroman said of facing the Mets. ‘‘Younger me may have seen it as a revenge game. But now I know how to pitch, I’m really good at what I do and it’s just a matter of getting to the point mechanically and just rolling start to start and staying there.’’

Stroman consistently had been going deep into games, throwing at least six innings in all but two starts. Before Wednesday, however, his longest start had been 6⅓ innings.

‘‘When he’s on, that thing’s sinking, that’s what you can get: a lot of early-count soft contact,’’ manager David Ross said of Stroman’s bread-and-butter sinker.

The only runs Stroman allowed came on a two-run home run in the third. Francisco Alvarez got his barrel to a first-pitch sinker that grazed the inside edge of the strike zone.

Stroman faced the minimum three batters in six of his eight innings, tossing 88 pitches.

‘‘Nights like tonight, when he has the sinker moving like that, it’s really tough to beat,’’ catcher Tucker Barnhart said. ‘‘Seemed like they didn’t make an adjustment to it, so we kept going to the well.’’

Three double plays helped Stroman keep his pitch count low. The first one was odd.

In the fourth, Pete Alonso took off running before the pitch, but Brett Baty got under the ball and hit it sky-high. Alonso didn’t check in after contact, slid headfirst into second base, then looked up, unable to locate the ball. By the time Alonso saw Ian Happ running in to catch the fly in shallow left field, it was too late for him to get back to first.

The second double play came in the sixth, with Stroman fielding a sharp comebacker from Brandon Nimmo and firing to second. Shortstop Dansby Swanson moved through the bag and tossed it to first as Stroman slapped his chest in celebration.

Fittingly, Stroman’s outing ended on the third double play. With one out and runners on first and third, Stroman got Alvarez to hit a grounder to Swanson to get out of the inning.

Hendricks to start Thursday

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who has been out since August of last season, is set to return from the 15-day injured list Thursday to make his season debut in the series finale.

The Cubs will push right-hander Jameson Taillon, who originally was set to start Thursday, back to Saturday to split up lefties Justin Steele and Drew Smyly.

Burdi to IL

Reliever Nick Burdi had an appendectomy Wednesday, landing him on the 15-day IL. In a corresponding move, the Cubs recalled right-hander Javier Assad from Triple-A Iowa.

Burdi made his way back to the big leagues this season after a series of injuries. Last week in Houston, he pitched in a major-league game for the first time since 2020. He made three appearances before coming down with appendicitis.

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