CHICAGO (AP) — Mets manager Terry Collins is tired of his team’s recent sloppy play.
“We’ve got to get it stopped,” he said. “We’ve got to turn it around right now. We’ve got to start playing with some energy, playing with some thought, like we have been all season long.”
Dillon Gee pitched five shaky innings and New York had another rough day in the field and on the bases during a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
Anthony Rizzo doubled home Steve Clevenger with two out in the fourth, making it 4-3 and sending the Mets to their fourth straight loss — matching a season high. Rizzo was called up earlier in the day for his highly anticipated Cubs debut after posting big numbers for Triple-A Iowa.
After three errors led to four unearned runs in a 6-1 loss on Monday, it was more of the same for the Mets on Tuesday night.
Up 2-0 in the third inning, Lucas Duda held up at third on Ike Davis’ double to right despite being waved around by third base coach Tim Teufel. Daniel Murphy grounded out with the bases loaded as the Mets failed to add on.
“That was my fault, I caught him a little late,” Duda said. “Ike hit the ball pretty hard, I was expecting a pretty big bounce at the wall. That’s why I held up at third.”
The Cubs tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when shortstop Ruben Tejada threw the ball away trying to get a forceout at second.
The only fire the Mets showed came when Davis was ejected in the eighth for arguing a tag play at first base. He made contact with first base umpire Manny Gonzalez and was tossed.
“I didn’t say anything too revolting. I obviously didn’t mean to touch him,” Davis said. “I was just using my hands as a gesture. I didn’t say anything crazy.”
Gee (5-6) struck out six in five innings, but gave up four runs and nine hits. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 3.69 ERA in his last six starts.
“It’s the worst Dillon’s pitched in a while, nothing was working,” Collins said. “He battled through it, got us five innings. I was happy with that.”
New York’s David Wright went 0 for 3 with a walk and a sacrifice fly, ending his hitting streak at 15 games. It was the longest active streak in the majors.
Luis Valbuena, Darwin Barney, Clevenger and David DeJesus joined Rizzo with two hits apiece for the Cubs, who finished with 12 hits overall.
Valbuena doubled home a run and Barney had a run-scoring single as the Cubs overcame another poor outing by starter Randy Wells.
Wells, subbing for injured right-hander Ryan Dempster in the rotation, lasted just three-plus innings. He was charged with three runs and six hits with four walks.
Wells gave up three runs, five hits and four walks in 3 2-3 innings against the White Sox in his previous outing.
Four relievers combined to shut out the Mets over the final five innings. Scott Maine (1-1) threw two scoreless innings for his first big league victory.
“I just tried to keep it close and was able to, came out the next inning and did the same thing,” Maine said. “The guys after me tried to keep it close as possible and everybody did their job tonight.”
Carlos Marmol worked around a leadoff walk and finished for his fifth save of the season. He became the fourth Cubs pitcher to record 100 career saves.
Josh Thole had two hits and drove in a run for the Mets, who stranded 12 runners, leaving at least one man on base in every inning except the first, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis was caught stealing in that inning.
“We need to clean it up,” Davis said. “We’re making a lot of errors and not taking advantage of opportunities.”
The Mets established an early two-run lead with four straight two-out singles off Wells in the second. Thole and Gee each drove in a run.
Chicago rallied with three runs in the third, aided by a pair of walks.
The touted Rizzo hit .342 with 23 homers and 62 RBIs at Iowa. He made his big league debut last season for San Diego, hitting .141 in 49 games before being traded to the Cubs over the winter.
Rizzo reached on an infield single in the first when his smash eluded Tejada, a play that was originally scored an error. He also grounded out to first in the third, advancing two runners and sparking Chicago’s three-run rally.
“Before the game I was breathing a lot, taking deep breaths,” Rizzo said. “When I got in the batter’s box, I felt really good.”
His arrival in Chicago was a “breath of fresh air” according to Dale Sveum, manager of the club with the worst record in baseball.
NOTES: Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said while the club is still gathering information, his “initial understanding” is CF Marlon Byrd’s 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs will not affect the amount of money the club is responsible for on Byrd’s contract. Chicago traded Byrd to the Red Sox on April 21. . Collins said there is still no timetable for the return of OF Jason Bay (concussion). Collins said a return before the All-Star break is conceivable, but optimistic.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.