Chicago, IL – Daniel Murphy hit a go-ahead solo homer in the top of the eighth inning as the New York Mets edged the Chicago Cubs, 4-3, Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game set at Wrigley Field.
Chicago led 3-1 heading into the seventh before Juan Lagares tied the game with his first career major league homer, a two-run shot off Cubs starter Travis Wood. Murphy hit the eventual game-winner off Kyuji Fujikawa (1-1) to open up the eighth.
"It was really nice to put a good swing on that ball," Murphy said.
Scott Rice (2-3) earned the win following two shutout innings of relief, while Bobby Parnell picked up his sixth save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
The Mets have won three of four.
Wood lasted seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He also provided a two-run homer while Ryan Sweeney hit a solo shot for the Cubs, who were looking for their first winning homestand since July 13-19 of last season.
Wood, who was attempting to win his third consecutive start, remained on the hill for the seventh and quickly forced two quick flyouts.
Ruben Tejada, though, kept the inning alive with a single up the middle, before Lagares launched Wood's 2-2 breaking ball into the right-field bleachers, bringing the Mets back from the dead to forge a 3-3 tie.
"That was unfortunate, giving up another home run," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "We pitched great, we just couldn't keep the ball in the ballpark."
New York starter Dillon Gee continued to struggle. He allowed three runs on eight hits while serving up both Chicago homers over just five frames.
Wood helped his own cause and opened up the scoring with a two-run blast to left in the bottom of the fifth. Welington Castillo opened up Chicago's half of the frame with a double and following Darwin Barney's strike out, Wood took Gee's 0-1 offering deep over the left-field bleachers for a 2-0 Cubs' lead.
"Wood hitting the home run kind of surprised me because I'd been throwing so many sliders to him," Gee said. "I thought there was no way he was hitting it."
David Wright's two-out bloop single in the sixth scored Murphy, briefly cutting New York's deficit to 2-1.
Sweeney got to Gee in the home half of the inning with a leadoff blast to right that increased Chicago's lead to 3-1.
Wood has allowed three or fewer runs and gone at least six innings in all nine of his outings this season. He also became the first Cubs pitcher to begin a season with at least nine straight quality starts since Mordecai Brown, who had 11 straight (all complete games) to begin the 1908 season ... The Mets had scored three or fewer runs in 10 of their last 12 games coming in.