Starlin Castro's clutch hits lead Cubs to 5-4 win over Mets in a mistake-filled game
CHICAGO (AP) — Starlin Castro is working hard to overcome the perception that he doesn’t care.
After making an error that led to three unearned runs in the first inning, the Chicago Cubs shortstop was determined to atone for the mistake.
“I just wanted to try and pick up my teammates,” Castro said. “It’s my fault that I made an error.”
Castro went 3 for 4 with three RBIs to offset his miscue and help the Cubs outlast the New York Mets for a 5-4 win in a mistake-filled game that featured a combined 13 pitchers and 15 walks.
“Starlin had a couple of nice at-bats making up,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. “He was really upset that he wasn’t able to make the play. He thought he should have made the play.”
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 loaded the bases 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.
“We got off to a good start,” New York manager Terry Collins said. “We just haven’t been able to add on. We’ve had opportunities to put games away. We had the bases loaded several times and we’re getting guys on so it’s not like we’re not getting on base. We’re just not hitting with guys on base, which has been the tune thus far the way we started the season.”
The Mets scored three unearned runs in the first inning thanks to Castro’s error. 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 compounded the Cubs’ woes 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. The solo shot was Tejada’s second home run 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.
Jackson threw 110 pitches and was happy that he was allowed to finish the fifth.
“When the coaches have an opportunity to come pull you out and the bullpen is ready and they leave you out there,” he said, “you feel like you kind of owe it to them — whatever the situation — to get through it.”
The Cubs then pushed across three runs in the bottom of the inning for a 5-4 lead. Fittingly, the winning run scored on a wild pitch from reliever Jeurys Familia.
The Cubs’ bullpen then made it hold up as six relievers combined to keep the Mets scoreless in the final four innings.
NOTES: After the game, the Mets designated RHP Buddy Carlyle for assignment. OF Andrew Brown arrived in Chicago on Wednesday and will be activated on Thursday. . Renteria was ejected in the third inning by home plate umpire Todd Tichenor for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. It was Renteria’s fourth ejection of the season.