NEW YORK -- Pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell hit a home run leading off the top of the 12th inning Saturday to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 4-3 win over the New York Mets in front of what remained of a crowd of 25,095 at Citi Field.
The Royals, who had a nine-game winning streak snapped, 4-2, in 11 innings on Friday, improved to 55-52.
The loss capped a downbeat day for the Mets (49-59), who placed captain David Wright on the 15-day disabled list before the game because of a strained right hamstring.
Maxwell, whom the Royals acquired from the Astros on Thursday, got ahead, 3-and-0 against David Aardsma (2-1), then took a strike and fouled off a pitch before hitting Aardsma's sixth pitch barely fair down the left field line for his fifth career pinch home run.
Before Maxwell's home run, four Mets relievers retired all 15 batters they faced.
Kelvin Herrera (4-5) earned the victory by pitching a career-high three innings. He allowed no hits and one walk while striking out three.
Greg Holland notched his 29th save with a perfect bottom of the 12th. Holland has converted his last 22 save opportunities.
George Kottaras' solo home run began a three-run third inning for the Royals. Miguel Tejada had three singles, including a run-scoring hit to right that capped the third inning, and Eric Hosmer had two hits.
Royals starter Bruce Chen was in line for the victory until the Mets rallied for two runs in the eighth off Aaron Crow.
Chen, pitching against one of the nine other teams for whom he has played in his 15-year career, allowed one run on four hits and no walks while striking out eight, his most since he whiffed eight against the Twins on Sept. 13, 2011.
He gave up hits to three of the Mets' first six batters before he retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
Since moving into the rotation on June 12, Chen is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and has pitched six innings in each of his four starts.
Chen also singled in the third inning and scored the Royals' second run.
Josh Satin was 2-for-5 with the game-tying, two-run single in the eighth for the Mets. Daniel Murphy was 2-for-5 with a solo home run in the second.
The Mets trailed, 3-1, before mounting a tying rally in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Andrew Brown led off with a single off Crow, went to second on a passed ball and took third on Juan Lagares' one-out infield single.
Lagares stole second and scored the tying run without a throw on Satin's single barely beyond a diving Alcides Escobar.
Mets starter Jeremy Hefner allowed three runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out six over six innings.
NOTES: This is David Wright's third stint on the disabled list. He missed two weeks because of a concussion in 2009 and missed a little more than two months because of a stress fracture in his lower back in 2011. ... Before the game, Mets manager Terry Collins said Murphy probably will get the bulk of playing time at third base should Wright require a lengthy absence. ... Collins said the Mets will employ a five-man rotation until Jonathon Niese comes back, at which point the Mets will again go with a six-man rotation in order to limit the innings of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Niese, who is recovering from a partially torn left rotator cuff, is scheduled to return to the Mets on Aug. 11. ... Royals 2B Chris Getz (left knee sprain) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Monday. ... LHP Tim Collins of the Royals, who missed Friday's game to visit his gravely ill grandfather, recorded the final out of the seventh inning. ... Bruce Chen made 12 appearances (11 starts) for the Mets in 2001 and 2002 and was the Mets' starter against the Braves on Sept. 21, 2001, in the first sporting event played in New York following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.