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 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. It also helped the Yankees finish off another Subway Series victory, as they took two of three in Flushing to follow up their sweep in the Bronx earlier this month.
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.
Nick Swisher hit a big three-run homer early for the Yankees, who got three hits from Raul Ibanez. Torres and Tejada each had two hits and two RBI for the Mets.
The Yankees had dented Dickey's aura of invincibility in several ways, most notably by scoring the first earned runs against him since May 22.
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 Andres 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 David 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 inning.
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 Yankees stunned Dickey with four runs in the third, the first earned runs scored against him in 44 2/3 innings. Mark Teixeira drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly before Swisher launched a homer to center on a 2-1 knuckleball for a 4-0 lead.
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: Mets closer Frank Francisco was placed on the 15-day disabled list with strained left oblique, two days after he said he first felt the injury. Bobby Parnell will be the Mets' closer in Francisco's absence. ... Ruben Tejada and Ramon Ramirez were activated from the disabled list, and Tejada moved into the starting lineup at shortstop, batting second. Infielder Jordany Valdespin was demoted to Class AAA Buffalo to make room. ... Wright extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the first. ... Davis was out of the lineup for a second straight day with food poisoning, as manager Terry Collins played Turner against a left-handed starter. ... 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 Mets reliever Tim Byrdak bought to tease Francisco for his "chickens" comment about the Yankees, was presented to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., before Sunday's game.