Cubs 5, Mets 1: Paul Sewald relishes Vegas homecoming; Mets winless in 14

Paul Sewald pitched three scoreless innings in his hometown of Las Vegas, where he's likely to remain to play for the Mets' Triple-A affiliate. AP Photo/John Locher

LAS VEGAS -- Prospect Paul Sewald tossed three scoreless innings in his hometown Thursday, but the New York Mets are now winless in 14 consecutive games.

Chasen Bradford and Erik Goeddel -- both likely headed for the Triple-A bullpen -- surrendered a combined four runs Thursday as the Mets lost to the Chicago Cubs 5-1 at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

The Mets’ lone run came on a fourth-inning RBI single by Lucas Duda, who finished 3-for-4.

A 10th-round pick in 2012, the 25-year-old Sewald started because the Mets decided to leave Jacob deGrom in Florida to be near his pregnant wife, Stacey, who is due Tuesday with the couple’s first child. DeGrom threw 71 pitches in an intrasquad game in Port St. Lucie earlier in the day.

Sewald, a Las Vegas native who also is ticketed for the Triple-A bullpen, faced a pair of baserunners with two out in the second but struck out David Ross to escape.

“Obviously it gave me a ton of confidence that I can get outs at the major league level,” the right-hander said. “I had a little bit of success in the last couple of outings in major league camp before I went down to minor league camp and got my confidence up a little bit. ... To face one of the best lineups in baseball and to throw well like that, it’s just obviously a huge confidence boost.”

Sewald plans to live with his parents in his childhood home while playing for New York's top farm team, the Las Vegas 51s. He needed no directions to get to Cashman Field for Thursday’s exhibition game, but did not know where to enter.

“I knew how to get here. I didn’t know how to get inside,” he said. “I’ve only been a fan.”

Sewald was excited to face Cubs phenom Kris Bryant, his former Little League and University of San Diego teammate. Bryant flied out to center field to end the first inning in their lone confrontation.

“I didn’t really appreciate that the crowd loved him way more than they loved me,” Sewald joked about his fellow Las Vegas native. “When he came up, everyone got really excited. I just tried to keep my emotions in check and tried not to laugh getting to see him at the plate.”

Sewald remembered Bryant hitting 30 homers in a Little League season when they were 12 years old -- “when he was already better than everybody.”

On Bryant’s long flyout Thursday, Sewald said: “For Kris, that’s not that far. As long as I kept it in the yard, then I was going to be happy with that. I’ll text him after the game to make sure he knows that I didn’t like him swinging at the first pitch. At least I got him out. I have bragging rights.”

The two also golf together during the winter.

“He, obviously, can hit the ball pretty far,” Sewald said. “He crushes the ball off the tee -- and then nothing. So I take him in golf, too.”

What’s next: The Mets complete their exhibition schedule with a 4:05 p.m. ET game against the Cubs on Friday in Las Vegas. Steven Matz opposes right-hander Jason Hammel.