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Morning Briefing: How about some runs?

CHICAGO --

FIRST PITCH: The New York Mets have not been swept in a four-game series at Wrigley Field since 1992.

Jonathon Niese (3-2, 1.95 ERA) will attempt to keep it that way when he opposes left-hander Travis Wood (2-2, 4.96) in Thursday’s 2:20 p.m. ET series finale.

Of course, the Mets will need to score some runs -- which they mostly failed to do for Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey in the series. The Amazin’s have produced five runs in three games against the Cubs.

Mets starting pitchers have an MLB-best 3.04 ERA this season, but the club is hitting a collective .235 with 23 home runs. The long ball total ranks 26th in the majors.

Backup outfielders Kirk Nieuwenhuis and John Mayberry Jr. are hitting a combined .095 (6-for-63).

Since an 11-game winning streak, the Mets are 7-11. That has allowed the Washington Nationals to pull with 1 1/2 games for first place in the National League East.

THURSDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Harvey tossed seven scoreless innings, but the Mets’ bats were quiet and Carlos Torres suffered the loss in relief as the Cubs beat the Mets, 2-1, on Wednesday. Torres loaded the bases with none out in the ninth. Jeurys Familia forced in the winning run with a one-out walk to Chris Coghlan after inheriting the three baserunners. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Journal, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • The Mets are unlikely to make a trade for Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, a team insider tells ESPN.com. Read more from columnist David Lennon in Newsday.

  • Buddy Carlyle landed on the disabled list with lower back and hamstring issues. Left-hander Jack Leathersich will rejoin the Mets for Thursday’s series finale in Chicago. Meanwhile, Juan Lagares sat for a second straight game Wednesday while a strain by his right armpit mends. Dillon Gee (groin) has resumed throwing in Port St. Lucie and may pitch four or five innings in a rehab setting this weekend. David Wright continues to get treatment for his lower back, but has not resumed baseball activity. Read more in the Journal, Newsday and at MLB.com.

  • The Mets are not good enough to waste solid performances from Harvey, columnist Ken Davidoff writes in the Post.

  • Darin Gorski allowed one run in six innings and Eric Campbell and Kyle Johnson had three hits apiece as Las Vegas beat Sacramento, 5-1. The 51s have won 18 of their past 20 games. Matt Koch allowed a walk-off RBI single in the 10th and Richmond beat Binghamton, 2-1. St. Lucie squandered a four-run lead and lost to the Tampa Yankees, 6-4. Read the full minor league recap here.

  • Steven Matz is 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA with Las Vegas. Read a feature in Wednesday’s Farm Report.

  • Joe Lemire in the Journal writes about fringe Mets players who bounce from hotel to hotel while the team is in New York because it would be unwise to commit to a lease with shaky job security.

  • From the bloggers … Faith and Fear considers Noah Syndergaard's place in the historical procession of players who made their major league debuts as Mets. … Mets Report suggests trading Syndergaard or Matz for a shortstop would be a bad idea.

BIRTHDAYS: Takashi Kashiwada turns 44. ... Brian Lawrence is 39. ... Dick Tidrow is 68.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Which position player should the Mets call up from the minors to bolster the offense?