Cubs Defeat Mets as Kris Bryant Breaks Out of a Bleak Spell

Kris Bryant hit a three-run homer, Jose Quintana pitched seven effective innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the visiting Mets, 8-3, on Tuesday night for a sorely needed victory.

Quintana (10-11) also helped himself at the plate with a pair of sacrifices, including a perfectly placed safety squeeze that drove in Kyle Schwarber in the fourth. Quintana got another bunt down in the sixth, sending Javier Baez to third ahead of Ben Zobrist’s run-scoring single.

Chicago had lost three in a row and six of eight, making for a crowded race at the top of the National League Central. St. Louis and Milwaukee also won Tuesday night, so the Cubs remained two games ahead of the Cardinals and two and a half games better than the third-place Brewers.

Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits for the Mets, but Robert Gsellman (6-7) lasted only four innings. The right-hander walked five and was charged with four runs and five hits.

Travis Taijeron’s run-scoring grounder put the Mets in front in the fourth, but the Cubs went ahead to stay with four runs in the bottom of the inning.

With two outs and runners on first and second, Bryant drove a 3-2 pitch from Gsellman to left-center for his 26th homer. Coming into the day, Bryant, the winner of the 2016 N.L. Most Valuable Player Award, was batting just .176 (6 for 34) with no R.B.I.s in September.

Schwarber and Ian Happ also homered before Bryant tacked on a deep sacrifice fly in the eighth. Schwarber went 3 for 3 and scored twice in his first start since going 0 for 3 in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Quintana improved to 2-0 with a 2.37 earned run average in his last three starts. The left-hander allowed two runs and six hits, struck out seven and walked one.