NEW YORK -- As one of the sage veterans in the New York Mets clubhouse, left fielder Michael Cuddyer's advice remains the same whenever he senses the team is struggling.
"You have to have short memory and you have to be able to rebound and go out and win games," Cuddyer said. "Doesn't matter what you did the night before or two nights before."
Or, in Cuddyer's case on Sunday, a half-inning before.
Cuddyer atoned for his role in a run-scoring play in the top of the seventh by delivering the tie-breaking RBI single in the bottom half of the inning as the Mets salvaged the finale of a three-game series by edging the Boston Red Sox 5-4 at Citi Field.
"It ended up good," Cuddyer said with a grin of the seventh inning.
It didn't start out that way. Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard was one out away from escaping the seventh with a 4-2 lead when pinch hitter Jackie Bradley Jr. hit an RBI double.
Bradley then stole third against right-hander Hansel Robles. Center fielder Mookie Betts followed with a blooper into shallow left.
With Cuddyer, third baseman David Wright and shortstop Ruben Tejada all converging, the ball landed just fair. Betts raced around second as Cuddyer picked up the ball and fired to an uncovered third base in hopes Wright would make it back in time. He didn't, but catcher Anthony Recker prevented Betts from scoring by backing up the play.
"It was a ball I couldn't get to," Cuddyer said. "Dropped, and when I got it, I was just throwing it hopefully to hit David on the run to get him to tag him."
Right-hander Tyler Clippard (2-0) struck out third baseman Pablo Sandoval to preserve the tie and set the stage for Cuddyer's redemption.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Wright walked against left-hander Robbie Ross (0-2). Second baseman Daniel Murphy beat out a potential double-play ball and stole second on the first pitch from right-hander Heath Hembree. It was just the second stolen base of the season for Murphy.
"I felt the key play was Dan stealing second," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "You've got to surprise teams once in a while to win games."
Murphy scored easily when Cuddyer singled sharply to left for his third hit in as many at-bats.
"It was nice to be able to come through," Cuddyer said.
Cuddyer reached base in all four plate appearances -- he walked in the sixth -- and scored in the first and sixth innings. He is batting .375 with three three-hit games in 17 games since Aug. 10, when he came off the disabled list after missing three weeks with a sore left knee.
Cuddyer also delivered a takeout slide of Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts to prevent a double play in the fourth.
"He's an outstanding player and a pro," Collins said. "He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. Never see him not hustle. Never see him not give everything he's got."
Clippard threw a perfect eighth before right-hander Jeurys Familia earned his 35th save despite allowing two hits in the ninth. He struck out Betts with runners at the corners for the final out as the Mets (72-58) remained 5 1/2 games ahead of the Washington Nationals in the National League East.
Syndergaard laced an RBI single in the second. Second baseman Juan Uribe had a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth, when Recker added an RBI single two batters later.
Syndergaard allowed four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out three over 6 2/3 innings.
First baseman David Ortiz hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth for the Red Sox (60-70), who limited the Mets to 10 runs in the three-game series. New York scored 73 runs in a seven-game winning streak snapped by Boston on Friday.
"These guys played really good baseball for three days," interim Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo said.
The homer was the second of the weekend for Ortiz and the 494th of his career, which broke a tie with Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 27th place all-time.
Ortiz was 4-for-8 against the Mets but still headed home impressed with New York's pitching.
"The Mets, with that pitching staff, man, they're not too far from walking into the money," Ortiz said.
Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley allowed four runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out six over six innings.
NOTES: The Mets continued bolstering their bullpen by acquiring RHP Addison Reed from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers, RHP Miller Diaz and RHP Matt Koch. Reed, who was 2-2 with a 4.20 ERA this season, will join the Mets on Monday. ... To make room for Reed on the 40-man roster, the Mets recalled IF Wilfred Tovar from Triple-A Las Vegas and placed him on the 60-day disabled list. ... Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said RHP Jean Machi is the team's new closer. RHP Junichi Tazawa, who was injured beginning a double play Friday night, will return to eighth-inning duties. ... Red Sox LF Hanley Ramirez (right shoulder) missed his third straight game. He was working out at first base, his projected position next season, before the game.