CHICAGO — Jacob deGrom is struggling with his command, and it showed up again on May 11.
DeGrom yielded consecutive homers to Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in the first, sending the New York Mets to a 4-3 loss to Jon Lester and the Chicago Cubs.
DeGrom allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked four.
The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year is 1-3 with a 5.64 ERA in his last four starts.
“It boils down to location,” he said. “Tonight I struggled with it and I think that kind of gets me off my game plan. I can’t throw the pitches I want for strikes and make some mistakes over the plate and they seem to hit a long way.”
Mets Manager Terry Collins said deGrom (3-4) is frustrated with his command trouble.
“I saw that tonight for the first time, but you got to also understand that he has not really struggled like this before,” Collins said. “So we have to get him through it and we have to get him that confidence back and still trust his stuff and make pitches with it.”
Lester (3-2) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, and three relievers from Chicago’s struggling bullpen closed it out. Justin Grimm and Zac Rosscup each got three outs before Hector Rondon finished the six-hitter for his seventh save in eight chances.
The Cubs opened the bleachers in left and center for the first time this season at Wrigley Field, and Bryant provided a stirring welcome with a two-run shot to left for the prospect’s first homer at the cozy neighborhood ballpark.
Rizzo followed with a drive to right against deGrom (3-4). The All-Star first baseman is batting .333 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 11 games in May.
The outfield seating had been closed to the public while work continued on the aging facility. Another section in right should be finished this summer after bad weather and other issues delayed construction in the off-season.
“Obviously, warming up, you’ve got people out there and they’re pumped, they’re excited to be there,” Lester said. “The more people you can get in the stadium, it makes it that much more of a home-field advantage for us.”
Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores hit consecutive homers in the sixth for New York, and Kevin Plawecki also singled in a run in the fourth.
With a runner on first and none out in the ninth, shortstop Starlin Castro made a diving catch to help thwart a potential Mets rally.
“That’s part of the game, but we swung the bats very good at the end of the game,” Collins said. “That’s all you can do is try to hit the ball. When you got the wind blowing out here, you got to let them swing. This game can open up fast and you can get the lead back in a hurry.”
Chris Coghlan had two hits for Chicago, which had dropped three of four. Addison Russell had a two-out RBI single in the fifth.
Lester struck out six and walked four. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts in May.