CHICAGO — The bulk of the Mets’ resurgence over the last week was built on starting pitching and late-inning scoring.
Neither element was there for the Mets on Tuesday, when they got jumped early and wasted comeback chances later in a 7-2 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field that snapped their five-game winning streak.
Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander had ace-like performances Sunday in helping the Mets sweep a doubleheader against the Guardians, but the momentum stopped with Tylor Megill’s first career start in the Friendly Confines.
Offensively, the Mets were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, on a night when Pete Alonso accounted for all their scoring with a homer and RBI fielder’s choice.
It was hardly the start the Mets (25-24) wanted to a six-game road trip that will also take them to face Colorado this weekend.
The Mets have lost 10 of their last 13 road games and haven’t won a series away from Citi Field in more than a month.
Megill lasted just 3 ²/₃ innings and allowed six runs, two of which were unearned, on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
The outing was the shortest of the season for the right-hander, who had surrendered three earned runs combined in his previous two starts, spanning 11 innings, against the Nationals and Rays.
Megill had been flip-flopped in the rotation with Kodai Senga, ensuring the Japanese right-hander will receive extra rest following his scheduled Wednesday start.
The Cubs battered Megill in the second inning, when they smashed two homers to take a 4-0 lead.
Selya Suzuki homered leading off the inning before Christopher Morel walked and Yan Gomes stroked a two-out, RBI single.
Morel had advanced to second on a groundout and went to third on Gary Sanchez’s passed ball. Matt Mervis then delivered a two-run homer to extend the Cubs’ lead.
Alonso’s home run in the fourth narrowed the gap to 4-1.
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) singles against the Cubs during the seventh inning.
It was Alonso’s seventh homer in 12 career games at Wrigley Field and continued his recent barrage: he homered in four straight games last week to tie a career-best streak.
Alonso’s 18 home runs overall this season lead MLB.
Megill was removed with two outs in the fourth inning, after the Cubs had added two runs to place the Mets in a 6-1 hole.
Both runs were unearned after Tommy Pham dropped Mike Tauchman’s fly ball to left for a two-base error to start the inning.
Matt Mervis and Dansby Swanson each delivered a two-out RBI single, ending Megill’s night. Dominic Leone entered and walked Ian Happ to load the bases before recording the third out.
Eduardo Escobar has his right ankle checked during the first inning.AP
The Mets had few early opportunities against lefty Drew Smyly, who escaped trouble in the first inning after allowing a leadoff double to Brandon Nimmo.
Smyly retired Eduardo Escobar and Francisco Lindor and walked Alonso with two outs before Mark Vientos struck out.
In the sixth the Mets loaded the bases with nobody out, but managed only one run, on Alonso’s RBI fielder’s choice.
Nimmo and Escobar singled in succession to begin the rally and Lindor walked, knocking out Smyly. But Jeremiah Estrada recorded three straight outs, with only one run scoring.
Jeff McNeil had an opportunity in the seventh as a pinch hitter with runners on first and second and two outs, but struck out against Mark Leiter Jr.
Morel homered in the seventh against Stephen Nogosek to become the first Cubs player since Sammy Sosa in 1998 to homer in five straight games. The blast was the Cubs’ third of the game.