The New York Mets' losing streak reached one game today. They are tied for the shortest winless string in baseball this year.

Oh, by the way, the Chicago Cubs' 13-game losing streak, the longest in baseball this year, is over.

If the Cubs had lost, they would have broken a club record for consecutive losses set in 1944 and tied in 1982. They also would have been only nine losses shy of the major league record set by the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies.

Instead, they are the proud fathers of a one-game winning streak.

"It was like having a baby," said Cubs Manager Jim Frey after his team's long-awaited, come-from-behind 7-3 victory. "We've been in labor for more than two weeks and we finally gave birth today. I hope we have the brother tomorrow."

Being on the wrong side of the Cubs' victory before 36,533 at Wrigley Field wasn't so bad. In and of itself.

"That had to happen sooner or later," said the Mets' Gary Carter.

It was the little things that hurt. Like the three-run home run Cubs right fielder Keith Moreland lined into the left field bleachers in the sixth. It came on an 0-2 pitch after two bunt attempts.

It came off the Mets' best relief pitcher, Roger McDowell, who had allowed one homer in 50 previous innings.

It marked the first time in 12 days the Cubs had scored more than two runs in an inning.

"Now I'm glad Keith wasn't able to bunt in that situation," Frey said.

"I wasn't mad at getting the bunt sign," Moreland said. "I was just mad that I couldn't get the bunt down."

Then there was the bad luck that prevented Carter from achieving the "cycle" for the first time in his career. After singling in the second, homering in the fourth and tripling to right in the seventh against an exaggerated shift, Carter lined a shot off the left field wall in the ninth.

His hit appeared a sure double until the ball caromed off the bricks directly into the eager hands of center fielder Billy Hatcher. His throw to Ryne Sandberg beat the stunned Carter by 10 feet.

"One of those things, I guess," Carter said.

Carter's homer was his fifth in the last 16 games. He said his three hits weren't coincidental to a rare start in right field. "It seems like when you're in the outfield, you can concentrate more on your hitting," he said. "But I'm still a catcher. I'll be catching tomorrow."

Earlier, Sandberg had hit a two-run homer to left in the seventh, also off McDowell. McDowell's next pitch sailed up and in on left fielder Gary Matthews.

A message? Matthews thought so. He threatened to charge the mound. But cooler heads prevailed. The Cubs already owned a four-run lead.

"That was stupid," said Mets Manager Davey Johnson of Matthews' umbrage. "And it was belated. Maybe he was trying to fire up his teammates."

"If you watched the game, you saw that pitch was nowhere near Matthews," McDowell said. "But the pitch to Moreland was belt-high. He had to be happy to see that."

And it had to hurt.

The Mets.