NEW YORK — Jonathon Niese pitched in and out of trouble. David Wright hit a hard RBI double off the wall and the Mets were right in this thing, down a run after seven innings.
Then the Cubs scored three runs off the bullpen, the Mets weren't able to respond and lost 5-2 Saturday to Chicago for their 10th loss in 12 games.
"In the eighth inning, there was silence in the dugout and the feeling was like here we go again," manager Terry Collins said. "Losing is as big of a habit as winning."
Scott Feldman allowed two hits in seven innings and Starlin Castro hit a two-run double to left in the Cubs' three-run eighth inning. Feldman (6-5) struck out six and hit a two-run single in the fourth off Jonathon Niese (3-6) to help himself on the way to his first win since May 29.
The Cubs stranded 10 runners in the first seven innings before breaking it open in the eighth on a two-run ground-rule double by Castro and a bases-loaded walk by Cody Ransom. Scott Rice allowed a hit and a walk around a sacrifice, then Brandon Lyon came on and gave up a single to load the bases before walking Ransom and giving up Castro's shot that could have probably scored three runs if it hadn't bounced over the wall.
The Mets actually got a run back in the bottom of the eighth on Jordany Valdespin's single off Carlos Villanueva, but Wright struck out with runners on second and third and fans streamed for the exits.
"No one is having any fun," Wright said. "It's a humbling and cruel game. We are at a point where we have to dig deep and find what motivates each individual as a player. The last thing I want is for guys to get caught up in playing through the motions. We have to finish strong – there are a lot of guys here who are part of the future."
Kevin Gregg got the last three outs for his ninth straight save and Chicago beat the Mets for the second day in a row, after losing five of seven before getting to Queens.
Gregg allowed a leadoff single to Marlon Byrd and third baseman Ransom mishandled Justin Turner's hard smash with one out, but John Buck and Juan Lagares flied out.
Before his double bounced over the wall, Castro had stranded five runners and struck out three times, including with the bases loaded to end the fourth.
In the fourth inning, Wright followed Daniel Murphy's leadoff double with a double of his own to cut the lead to 2-1, but he was stranded at second.
Niese left with two outs in the fifth inning and a man on second. He finished having allowed two runs, six hits and four walks with five strikeouts. He is 0-2 in his past four starts.
Collins mentioned approvingly that Niese did not want to come out of the game. He also said he has no questions about his players' work ethic.
"I haven't seen anyone who did not hustle," Collins said. "I haven't seen anyone who isn't on time and not doing their work in the cage."
NOTES: Mets GM Sandy Alderson told season-ticket holders Saturday morning that "over the next six months or so, we will be in a position make some significant acquisitions, whether it's through free agency or a trade. ... Wright tied his career best by reaching in nine straight plate appearances, but his deep drive to left in the sixth inning was caught at the wall. ... The Mets called up right-hander Carlos Torres from Las Vegas and optioned right-hander Greg Burke to the Triple-A team. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club designated right-hander Collin McHugh for assignment. Torres was 6-3 with a 3.89 ERA in 12 starts for Las Vegas. ... In the third inning, a fan hustled to get a foul ball that had gone uncaught and was rolling around on the concourse. He stood up and handed the ball to a child seated just above where it had fallen, and got polite applause from the crowd and a handshake from a security guard. ... 2B Valdespin let Ransom move up a base in the first when he misfired while attempting to return the ball to Niese after Ransom's single. He was charged with an error.