Chicago, IL-- The Mets went from joyous to sad twice in the late innings, but the third time was a charm, as they beat the Chicago Cubs, 9-7 in 13 innings at Wrigley Field Tuesday afternoon.
The Mets blew a 6-4 lead in the ninth and a 7-6 lead in the 12th before Jim Hickman finally finished off the Cubs with a two-run homer in the 13th off lefty Fred Norman.
In fact, the Mets blew a 6-1 lead, which they had built up after their half of the seventh.
The Cubs scored three times in the seventh to draw closer, and rallied in the ninth off Carl Willey. Pinch-hitter Ellis Burton slammed a two-run homer over the left field wall to knot the game.
Undaunted, the Mets scored in the 12th when Cubs third baseman Ron Santo made a rare error, allowing Roy McMillan, who had walked earlier in the inning, to cross the plate.
But the Cubs replied with a run of their own in the 12th, courtesy a bases-loaded walk to Merritt Ranew. The Cubs had the sacks filled with only one out after Ranew scored, setting up a dramatic win for the home team. But reliever Bill Wakefield struck out Billy Cowan and Vic Roznovsky to end the threat.
The Mets (11-29) have their first three-game winning streak of the season and have won six of their last eight games.
"Feels good," Hickman said afterward. "You never know what can happen in extra innings, as we saw today. Felt good to help the team win."
Hickman: 3-for-7, three RBI in the Cubs' third straight win
Mets manager Casey Stengel waxed poetic---sort of.
"I'm too gol-dang old to sweat through a game like this," he said of the see-saw affair. "Too many more of these and you'll see me six feet under!"
Hickman went 3-for-7 with three RBI. Wakefield got the win.
The Mets scored four times in the fifth inning, in which the first six hitters reached base.
Mets record: 11-29, .275 (Last 10: 7-3; streak: W-3); Actual: 12-28
Home: 2-11; Away: 9-18
Runs scored: 116
Runs against: 200