NEW YORK -- The anticipated pitchers' duel between R.A. Dickey and CC Sabathia slowly turned into a humbling outing for both starters, a wild ride full of sloppy defense and exchanged leads.
Dickey, coming off back-to-back one-hitters, allowed his first earned runs in a little over a month for the New York Mets, and New York Yankees ace Sabathia was tagged for nine hits.
But after allowing their crosstown counterparts to wipe out an early four-run deficit, the Yankees survived for a 6-5 win behind Robinson Cano's eighth-inning home run Sunday night.
Cano's solo shot to lead off the eighth against Miguel Batista (1-2) prompted roars from the Yankees' portion of a record Citi Field crowd of 42,364.
The victory finished off a weekend that began with Mets closer Frank Francisco saving the opener after calling the Yankees "chickens," and ended with the Yankees taking two of three and the Mets putting Francisco on the disabled list with a strained left oblique Sunday.
The Yankees had swept the Mets in the Bronx earlier this month.
"Not bad for a bunch of 'chickens,'" said Nick Swisher, who hit a three-run homer off Dickey in the third to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
Mets manager Terry Collins acknowledged he would have thought of using the team's lone lefty reliever, Tim Byrdak, to face the left-handed-hitting Cano, but with Francisco unavailable didn't want to leave himself short-handed later.
"Obviously with the results, I should have brought him in," Collins said of Byrdak.
Said Cano: "I never had it in my mind that I wanted to hit it out. I was just trying to get a hit."
Boone Logan (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief before David Robertson got the last two outs of the eighth, wiggling out of trouble after Andres Torres singled with two outs, stole second and reached third on a balk. Robertson retired Ruben Tejada, back from a disabled-list stint caused by a strained right quadriceps, on a grounder to third to end the inning.
Rafael Soriano earned his 15th save of the season with a scoreless ninth, getting pinch hitter Ike Davis on a fly to right after giving up a two-out single to Lucas Duda.
Raul Ibanez had three hits for the Yankees while Mark Teixeira had two RBI. Torres and Tejada each had two hits and two RBI for the Mets. David Wright had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 14, but struck out against Soriano to lead off the ninth after a tough at-bat.
The Yankees dented Dickey's aura of invincibility in several ways, most notably by scoring the first earned runs against him since May 22.
He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks in six innings, the Yankees' four-run third breaking his string of 44 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
"I gave up five hits. I don't feel like I got beat around the park tonight," said Dickey, who had a rare bout with his command. He added that he "fought my butt off. ... All good things are gonna end. It's time to begin another streak."
The Mets rallied from a 5-2 deficit to force Sabathia from the game in the sixth, tying it with a three-run rally and tagging him for nine hits on the night.
Along with the subpar performances from the pitchers who had combined to win 20 games this year, the defenses struggled, combining for five errors in the first six innings and helping the Mets score four unearned runs.
A one-out error by Cano on a tough grounder to his left by Justin Turner got the Mets started in the sixth, and they eventually got a two-out, two-run single from Torres to make it 5-4. That ended Sabathia's night, as he walked off to the jeers of the Mets' portion of the crowd. In came Cory Wade, who gave up a game-tying single to Tejada to make it 5-5. Wade walked Wright to load the bases but struck out pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis to end the inning.
Despite his subpar start on the mound, Dickey helped the Mets close within 5-2 in the fifth by hitting a one-out single and by hustling home on a two-out single by Wright. The throw from left fielder Ibanez appeared to strike Dickey in the left shoulder as he scored, but he returned to pitch the top of the sixth.
Up 4-1, the Yankees tacked on a run in the fifth when Dickey hit Curtis Granderson, wild-pitched him to second and eventually saw him score on a fielder's choice groundout.
The Mets reached Sabathia for an unearned run in the third when Torres walked, stole second and reached third on catcher Chris Stewart's second throwing error in three innings. Torres scored on Tejada's sacrifice to left to make it 4-1.
NOTES: Bobby Parnell will be the Mets' closer in Francisco's absence. ... Mets reliever Ramon Ramirez was activated from the disabled list to fill the Francisco's roster vacancy. Infielder Jordany Valdespin was demoted to Class AAA Buffalo to clear a spot for Tejada. ... Davis was out of the lineup for a second straight day with food poisoning, but pinch-hit in the ninth. ... Yankees catcher Russell Martin was out of the lineup Sunday night after his back stiffened in the ninth inning Saturday. Martin said he was available to pinch-hit. ... "Little Jerry Seinfeld," the chicken that Byrdak bought to tease Francisco for his "chickens" comment, was presented to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., before Sunday's game.