Starlin Castro went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and the Chicago Cubs outlasted the Mets 5-4 Wednesday night in a mistake-filled game that featured a combined 13 pitchers.
Anthony Rizzo went 1 for 2 with two walks and two runs scored for the Cubs.
Lucas Duda had a two-run double to lead a Mets offense that again failed to get the clutch hit. New York left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings without scoring.
The Mets have dropped two straight after winning three in a row and are 8-18 in one-run games.
Cubs starter Edwin Jackson (4-5) was victimized by his defense and his own lack of command, but managed to get through five innings, giving up five hits and five walks. Just one of the four runs he surrendered was earned.
Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
Mets starter Daisuke Matsuzaka didn't make it through the fifth, allowing four runs on four hits and five walks in 4 1-3 innings. Reliever Dana Eveland (0-1) gave up a run in 2-3 of an inning to take the loss.
The Mets got off to a fast start, scoring three unearned runs in the first inning thanks to an error by Castro. With two on and two out, Bobby Abreu hit a sharp grounder up the middle. Castro was playing behind second base in the shift but booted the ball to allow a run to score.
Duda then made the error more costly by doubling to left field to drive in two runs for a 3-0 lead.
The Cubs answered in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs. Castro plated the first with a run-scoring single and the next batter, Nate Schierholtz, drove in the other with a groundout to first.
The Mets stretched the lead to 4-2 in the fourth when Ruben Tejada drilled a 2-0 pitch from Jackson six rows into the left-field bleachers for a solo homer. It was Tejada's second in less than a week. He homered Saturday in Philadelphia to snap a streak of 552 homerless at-bats, the longest active streak in the major leagues at the time. The Mets had a chance to tack on runs in the fifth after loading the bases with two out, but Anthony Recker popped out to first base to end the threat.
The Cubs then pushed across three runs in the bottom of the inning for a 5-4 lead. With one out, Emilio Bonifacio singled and Justin Ruggiano walked. That was all for Matsuzaka as left-hander Eveland came on to face Rizzo, who promptly singled to load the bases. Castro followed with a single to center to drive in two runs and tie the score.
The Cubs weren't through. One out later, Chris Coghlan walked to load the bases and Mets manager Terry Collins brought in right-hander Jeurys Familia to face Mike Olt. Familia retired Olt, but before doing so Familia bounced a slider on a 0-1 count for a wild pitch that allowed Rizzo to score with the go-ahead run.