Instead, the Cubs made several mental errors in a six-run second inning and were beaten by the New York Mets 9-5 on Friday night to fall under .500 for the first time in a month.
In all, the Mets matched a season high with five stolen bases and every starter but David Wright had at least one hit. Wright walked three times.
"It was a good game for us to get back on the winning ways," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "Hopefully we're going to turn the corner here and get into a nice little run."
Despite the return of Garciaparra and Wood from injuries, the Cubs lost for the sixth time in eight games and dropped below .500 (54-55) for the first time since July 10, when they were 43-44. The Cubs and Mets came in tied, five games behind Houston for the wild-card lead.
"I don't know if there's more pressure this time of the season," Garciaparra said. "We put pressure on ourselves to perform."
Garciaparra went 0-for-4 in his first start since tearing his groin on April 20 and nearly beat out a grounder to short for a hit in the eighth. He was removed for defense in the bottom of the inning.
"It was nice to be out there," Garciaparra said. "I ran well. Things like that are going to keep coming. This is what I've been working hard for."
Wood pitched the sixth inning and Scott Williamson made his Chicago debut after having elbow ligament replacement surgery in October, striking out two in the seventh.
Wood threw 15 pitches with a walk in his first outing since going on the DL on July 20 with a shoulder strain.
"Everything felt good," said Wood, who pitched out of the stretch in his first relief appearance in the big leagues. "It's different, but you still warm up, get loose and try to get guys out."
Glavine (8-9) allowed five runs -- four earned -- and 10 hits in eight innings. He gave up a long homer to Derrek Lee in the eighth, his 33rd.
"I think everything comes together," Glavine said. "I think it's me being more comfortable with what I am trying to do in terms of how I pitch, in using the curveball and stuff like that. It all brings the package together."
The Mets used seven singles in the first two innings against Cubs starter Rich Hill (0-1) to score seven runs. Beltran drove in a run in the first after Reyes singled and stole second.
The Mets sent 10 batters to the plate in the second and received some help from the Cubs' indecisive infield. Miguel Cairo drove in a run after the first two batters walked and Glavine had an RBI with a fielder's choice when second baseman Todd Walker threw home instead of making an easy out.
Reyes followed Glavine's hit with a sharp grounder to Garciaparra, who looked to throw to third for the force, but third baseman Aramis Ramirez was pointing toward first. Garciaparra's throw was late and the bases were loaded.
Cameron then singled in two runs. An out later Floyd had two RBI to make it 7-1.
"That's tough," manager Dusty Baker said. "Terrible, terrible inning.
"Nomar hadn't been out there in a while -- there was some bad judgment in that inning," Baker added.
Piazza and Chris Woodward had RBI singles in the fifth to make it 9-4.
Hill gave up seven runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings. It was his third start of the season for the Cubs.
The Cubs placed second baseman Jerry Hairston on the 15-day DL with a left elbow injury. ... Randolph said right-hander Jae Seo will be called up from Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday and will start against the Cubs. He would take left-hander Kaz Ishii's spot. Ishii will be optioned to Norfolk. ... Second baseman Kaz Matsui (left knee) went 1-for-3 with a walk in a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton. He will make another start for Binghamton on Saturday.