Homer-Happy Yankees Power Past Dickey, Mets
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NEW YORK (AP) — Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees touched up R.A. Dickey for five runs in a 6-5 victory over the Mets on Sunday night.
Nick Swisher had an early three-run shot against Dickey, who was coming off consecutive one-hitters — making him the first major league pitcher in 24 years to accomplish that feat. But in a much-anticipated matchup at sold-out Citi Field, both he and Yankees ace CC Sabathia were missing their best stuff.
Leading off the eighth, Cano drove a 2-0 delivery from Miguel Batista (1-2) over the home run apple in straightaway center for his 16th homer and fifth in seven games. Taking advantage of a shaky Mets bullpen again, the Yankees won the final two games of the weekend by one run to finish 5-1 against their crosstown rivals this season.
Including a sweep in the Bronx earlier this month, the Yankees have won five consecutive series against the Mets since May 2010.
The talk of the town lately, Dickey was riding an unprecedented roll of dominance that rivaled any in baseball history. But the knuckleballer had an uncharacteristic bout of wildness against the homer-happy Yankees and lasted only six innings. He walked three, hit a batter and threw his first wild pitch of the season.
Listen: Dickey on what went wrong Sunday
Sabathia, also coming off a complete game with double-digit strikeouts, gave up nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. He was betrayed by his defense while yielding five runs — one earned.
Boone Logan (2-0) gave the Yankees another splendid performance out of the bullpen, and David Robertson retired Ruben Tejada with a runner on third to end the eighth. Rafael Soriano worked a scoreless ninth in the rain for his 15th save in 16 chances.
The Yankees have won 14 of their last 18 road games.
Dickey received a big ovation during pregame introductions and sent a smiling Alex Rodriguez sprawling to the dirt with a high-and-tight pitch in the first — perhaps the first time the three-time MVP has been buzzed with a knuckleball.
Dickey used his bat and legs to help the Mets get started on their comeback from a four-run deficit. He singled off Sabathia in the fifth and hustled home from second on David Wright’s two-out RBI single.
The 37-year-old pitcher slid into Chris Stewart at the plate, getting a face full of catcher’s mitt and jarring the ball loose as his helmet was knocked off his head.
Trailing 5-2 in the sixth, the Mets took advantage of Cano’s one-out error at second base to score three unearned runs with two outs. Vinny Rottino, pinch-hitting for Dickey, drew a four-pitch walk from Sabathia and screened Mark Teixeira when Andres Torres grounded a two-run single just past the Gold Glove first baseman.
Tejada tied it with a single off Cory Wade, who struck out pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Dickey wriggled out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second but couldn’t escape in the third. Two walks sandwiched around Rodriguez’s dribbler for an infield single loaded the bases for Teixeira, the pitcher’s old buddy from their early days in Texas.
Teixeira made solid contact on a sacrifice fly, ending Dickey’s streak without allowing an earned run at 44 2-3 innings — second-best in team history behind Dwight Gooden’s stretch of 49 innings in 1985.
Swisher then sent a 2-1 knuckler well beyond the 390-foot sign in right-center for his 11th homer and a 4-0 cushion. He clapped his hands high as he rounded first base and wore a broad smile when he got back to the dugout.
It was the first home run off Dickey since Cincinnati slugger Joey Votto connected on May 17. After a no-decision in that game, Dickey won his next six starts heading into Sunday night.
Dickey plunked the leadoff batter and threw a wild pitch in the fifth, leading to Teixeira’s RBI groundout that made it 5-1.
Stewart’s second throwing error of the game helped the Mets get on the board in the third on a sacrifice fly by Tejada, just activated from the disabled list after he missed seven weeks with a strained quadriceps.
NOTES: Yankees C Russell Martin sat out after leaving Saturday’s game in the ninth inning with a stiff lower back. Stewart usually catches Sabathia anyway, but manager Joe Girardi reiterated that he wants to get Sabathia and Martin working together again. Girardi said that might have been his battery Sunday night if Martin were healthy, but now the manager might wait until after the All-Star break to pair them in a game. … Mets 1B Ike Davis, scratched from the lineup Saturday and sent home because of food poisoning, flied out as a pinch-hitter to end it. … The crowd of 42,364 was the largest in the 4-year history of Citi Field.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)