NEW YORK -- Ryan Dempster, 4 - 3, was activated from the disabled list, then pitched five innings of four - hit ball in his first outing since June 15 th to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 7 - 0 victory over the New York Mets.
The Cubs made it as comfortable as possible for Dempster, scoring four runs before he even threw a pitch. Alfonso Soriano had an RBI single, Jeff Baker a run - scoring double with a jam shot to the opposite field, and Geovany Soto drove in two runs with a single against Jonathon Niese. Niese, 7 - 4, had only given up four or more runs in a game five times in his 16 starts this season entering Sunday.
The Cubs finished the first half in the midst of a modest surge, winning nine of 13 to improve to a disappointing 33 - 52 in Theo Epstein's first year in charge. It's their worst record before the break since 2006, when they were 34 - 54.
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