A very late rally with two outs in the ninth fizzled and the Mets came up short in the rubber match of a three-game series with the Padres on Wednesday, losing 7-3 and dropping two of three in the first leg of their seven-game west coast road trip.

A first innings error put the Mets in an early hole and 'Big Game' James Shields was able to quiet New York's offense over seven innings to move to 7-0 on the season.

Ruben Tejada - whose been taking his turn at a third base as the Mets look for an answer at David Wright's position - made two of the team's three errors on the night, including one in the first inning that helped setup San Diego's first two runs.

It wasn't the support Dillon Gee was looking for in his return to the mound. But in his first start in exactly one month, Gee (0-3) wasn't all that good either. He committed the team's other error, and hit a batter with the bases loaded giving the Padres a 1-0 lead. He allowed eight hits - all singles - and seven runs (4 earned) while walking one, hitting one and striking out one over four innings.

Shields struck out four and give up two runs on six hits to stay unbeaten. The Pads' offense got three-RBIs from Will Middlebrooks and a two more from Will Venable.

A late scramble by the Mets made the game's final half inning suddenly interesting. San Diego reliever Craig Kimbrell got the first two outs before Anthony Recker reached on error. He scored on Kevin Plawecki's pinch-hit RBI double. Curtis Granderson walked and Tejada singled to load the bases, all with two outs. It brought powerful Lucas Duda to the plate at the tying run, but he grounded out to end it.

Matt Harvey gets the ball for the Mets on Thursday night in Arizona to open a four-game series with the Diamondbacks.