Jake Arrieta delivered. Eric Sogard scored on a daring dash. Jason Heyward set up another run with a nifty slide.
On another tough night at the plate, the Chicago Cubs made just enough plays to eke out a win.
Arrieta pitched five effective innings Tuesday and Craig Kimbrel escaped a jam in the ninth, sending the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Mets.
"Really nice win when we had to scrap for some hits," manager David Ross said.
Arrieta (3-1) allowed one run and three hits, struck out four and walked three. Wearing short sleeves on a cool, clear evening — the game-time temperature was 36 degrees — he also contributed to two runs at the plate.
"Battled, did a nice job of limiting damage," Arrieta said. "Had some walks in there, but still was competitive throughout."
Sogard had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run to help Chicago rebound from Sunday's 13-4 loss to Atlanta. Sogard was inserted into the lineup when David Bote was scratched with an upset stomach.
The Cubs had just four hits and struck out 12 times, including four for Javier Báez. Hampered by early offensive trouble, the reigning NL Central champions have won just three of their last nine games.
"Doing the small things, trying to push across some runs, we did that tonight," Ross said.
J.D. Davis homered for New York, but also committed two throwing errors at third base — including one that brought home Chicago's first run. The Mets had won five of six.
Taijuan Walker (0-1) matched his career high with six walks in 3 2/3 innings, then was ejected by John Libka when he expressed frustration with the umpire's strike zone on his way out of the game. Walker was charged with two earned runs and two hits.
"After that third inning, I just kind of lost the feel for the strike zone and was kind of all over the place," Walker said.
Second-year Mets manager Luis Rojas also was thrown out by Libka after Michael Conforto struck out looking in the sixth. It was the first career ejection for Rojas.
"The only thing you ask for is consistency. So that's where it came from," Rojas said. "Personally, I thought Taijuan got squeezed a little bit by the home plate umpire, and I thought that we were getting calls that were out of the zone."
After Arrieta departed, Rex Brothers, Brandon Workman and Andrew Chafin combined for three innings before Kimbrel worked a shaky ninth for his fourth save.
With one out and the bases loaded, Kimbrel struck out Brandon Nimmo and retired Francisco Lindor on a bouncer to first.
Sogard used his legs to get Chicago on the board in the third. He reached on a leadoff walk and advanced on Arrieta's sacrifice on an 0-2 pitch from Walker.
Willson Contreras hit a two-out grounder to Davis at third, and he skipped his throw across the diamond. Sogard kept running and scored without a throw when the ball got away from first baseman Pete Alonso.
The Cubs tacked on two more after Walker retired the first two batters in the fourth. Heyward singled, swiped second with a slick slide and scored on Sogard's liner to center. Three consecutive walks, including one to Arrieta, produced another run and chased Walker.
The Mets challenged Heyward's first steal of the season, but the close call was upheld.
The Mets tweaked their rotation for this week, giving Jacob deGrom an extra day of rest. The 32-year-old deGrom was slated to start Thursday against the Cubs, but the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner was moved back to Friday’s home game against the Nationals. Now, left-hander Joey Lucchesi pitches Thursday after he worked three innings in New York’s 7-2 loss at Colorado during a doubleheader on Saturday.
Cubs: First base coach Craig Driver returned to his usual duties. He had been out following a positive COVID-19 test.
Mets left-hander David Peterson (1-1, 6.30 ERA) and Cubs right-hander Zach Davies (1-2, 10.32) pitch Wednesday night. Peterson is coming off a sharp performance against Philadelphia, striking out 10 over six innings in a 5-1 victory. Davies has dropped his last two starts, allowing 11 runs in 5 2/3 innings.