Mets 4, Cubs 3

The New York Mets wanted more pop up top, and hoped Daniel

Murphy could provide it.

He delivered, hitting a tiebreaking home run in the eighth

inning that sent the Mets over the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday for

their first series win at Wrigley Field since 2007.

The Mets won two of three on this trip to Chicago.

Murphy batted leadoff for the first time this season and fifth

time in his career. He’d mostly been in the second slot this

season.

”It’s still always about quality at-bats,” Murphy said.

Murphy hit a leadoff shot against reliever Kyuji Fujikawa (1-1).

Murphy has homered twice in three games and has an eight-game

hitting streak, during which he’s batted .469 (15 for 32) with

seven extra-base hits.

Manager Terry Collins indicated Murphy might remain in the

leadoff spot.

”I feel like I’m taking better swings,” Murphy said. ”I feel

better with my swing. I’m also getting better pitches to hit. When

your swing is going good, you feel comfortable at the plate. You

just don’t miss them. That’s kind of where I’m at.”

Mets rookie Juan Lagares hit his first major league homer, a

tying, two-run drive in the seventh against starter Travis

Wood.

”I wish I could have that pitch back,” Wood said. ”I went

with a changeup, was trying to get it down and happened to leave it

up. He put a good swing on it and hit it out.”

Lagares planned to keep the baseball, which a fan threw back

onto the field.

”When I came here I just tried to keep doing the same thing I

was doing in Triple-A,” Lagares said. ”The key is to keep working

hard.”

Scott Rice (2-3) pitched two scoreless innings. Bobby Parnell

earned his sixth save.

Wood hit his first homer of the season and fourth of his career,

clearing the left-field bleachers with a two-run drive off Dillon

Gee in the fifth to end a scoreless tie.

”I felt like I located fairly well today, other than a couple

pitches that really hurt me,” Gee said. ”Wood hitting the home

run kind of surprised me because I was throwing so many sliders to

him. It was like he was sitting on the fastball as soon as it left

my hand.”

Wood made his ninth straight quality start, allowing three runs

and five hits in seven innings. He struck out three and walked two.

The last Cubs starter to begin a season with at least nine straight

quality starts was Mordecai ”Three Finger” Brown in 1908.

”Wood was throwing the ball well today,” Murphy said. ”He

didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes. The one that did, Juan did a

great job capitalizing on it. It was an awesome first home

run.”

The Mets cut the lead to 2-1 in the sixth on a walk to Gee, a

forceout, a wild pitch and an RBI single by David Wright.

The Cubs extended their lead to 3-1 in the bottom half on Ryan

Sweeney’s leadoff homer. It was his first home run since July 27,

2011, when he played for Oakland.

Gee allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings. He has

allowed nine runs in his last nine innings and hasn’t won since May

1.

”When he’s making his pitches with his changeup, which is his

No. 1 pitch anyway, he’s effective,” Collins said.

Sweeney tried to stretch a leadoff double into a triple in the

fourth but was thrown out at third. The Cubs also had leadoff

doubles in the first and fifth.

NOTES: The Cubs announced reliever Michael Bowden will be

designated for assignment to make room for RHP Matt Garza, who is

coming off the disabled list on Tuesday. … Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo

struck out in the first inning, ending 39 straight at-bats without

a strikeout. … Cubs RHP Carlos Villanueva was available. He moved

to the bullpen to make room for Garza, who will make his season

debut on Tuesday against Pittsburgh. Garza strained a back muscle

in spring training. Villanueva (1-3) hasn’t won since April 18. He

has made 245 of his 309 career appearances as a reliever.