Dempster looks sharp as Cubs beat Mets 11-1

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Ryan Dempster pitched seven effective innings, Starlin Castro had three hits and two RBIs and the Chicago Cubs pounded the stumbling New York Mets 11-1 on Tuesday night.

Alfonso Soriano, Darwin Barney and Lou Montanez each had two hits for Chicago, which kicked off a nine-game homestand with its 11th victory in its past 12 games against NL East teams. Montanez started in right field hours after he was promoted from Triple-A Iowa when the Cubs put right-hander Matt Garza on the 15-day disabled list with elbow stiffness.

The Mets dropped their first game since a pair of magazine articles about owner Fred Wilpon. Wilpon first made a couple of chilly comments about three of the team's biggest stars in an interview with The New Yorker, then told Sports Illustrated the club is "bleeding cash" and could lose up to $70 million this year.