Dwight Gooden pitched an eight-hitter for his club-record eighth shutout of the season and had an RBI single today as the New York Mets beat the Cubs, 3-0, yesterday in Chicago.

The victory kept the Mets four games behind the National League East-leading St. Louis Cardinals, who defeated Philadelphia, 5-0, last night.

Gooden (23-4) walked two and struck out seven, extending his string of innings without giving up an earned run to 48. His ERA dropped to 1.51. Gooden, who has 15 complete games and has won 17 of his last 18 decisions, is 5-0 against the Cubs this season.

The Mets scored in the first inning. Mookie Wilson led off with a double off loser Johnny Abrego (1-1). Wilson moved to third on Wally Backman's single, then came home on Keith Hernandez's single, giving Hernandez his 24th game-winning RBI, tops in baseball.

In the fourth, Danny Heep and Howard Johnson hit back-to-back singles and Rafael Santana doubled down the third base line, scoring Heep. Gooden then singled to center, scoring Johnson.

Chicago left 11 runners on base.

Mets Manager Dave Johnson said, "I know (Gooden) was in trouble a lot, but I've seen him get out of trouble so many times, I've got to wonder when he really is in trouble. He's past the point where you even think about a relief (pitcher) for him."