NEW YORK — Tim Lincecum had a lead and the bullpen did, too. But in a rare slip on the road, the San Francisco Giants let one get away.
Michael Cuddyer singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the New York Mets topped the Giants 5-4 Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
“Hard-fought series. Good road trip,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “You'd like to get greedy and get this one, but we just couldn't hold the lead.”
Curtis Granderson scored twice and drove in a run to help New York win on a 91-degree night when chants of “Let's go Giants!” rang out at Citi Field. The Mets beat the defending World Series champions for only the second time in 11 meetings, rebounding from a pair of humbling losses to start the series.
San Francisco rookie Chris Heston pitched a no-hitter Tuesday, and Mets ace Matt Harvey was hit hard again the following night.
Looking to win his seventh straight decision against New York, Lincecum was lifted after 4²⁄³ innings.
“A little heavier air than we're used to,” Lincecum said. “They got the best of me with that high pitch count.”
Sergio Romo (0-3) hit Granderson in the back on an 0-2 pitch with one out in the ninth. Granderson advanced to second on Andrew Susac's passed ball and third on Juan Lagares' groundout before Lucas Duda was intentionally walked.
Cuddyer, who had a go-ahead double that chased Lincecum in the fifth, stroked a sharp single into center field for the first game-ending hit the Giants have allowed all season.
San Francisco fell to 18-13 away from home, still the best mark in the National League.
“It's huge morale-wise for us,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Today was a big one.”
Jeurys Familia (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
Mets starter Jonathon Niese retired 12 in a row before substitute third baseman Eric Campbell committed a two-out error in the sixth. Brandon Crawford followed with his ninth homer, a long drive into the Giants' bullpen in right-center that gave San Francisco a 4-3 lead.
Hunter Strickland gave up three straight Mets hits to the start the seventh, including a leadoff double by pinch-hitter Darrell Ceciliani and Granderson's tying single.