Still Intense: Mets, Banged-Up Yanks Put On Show In Subway Series Opener
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — An ailing Mark Teixeira hobbled to first base and waited for a pinch-runner.
Ichiro Suzuki, perhaps. … Nope. He’s hurt, too.
That’s the way things have been going lately for the banged-up New York Yankees, who lost Carlos Beltran to an elbow injury and couldn’t slow the previously punchless Mets in the Subway Series opener.
Chris Young hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, Jenrry Mejia provided a jolt in relief and the Mets went deep four times to rally for a 9-7 victory Monday night.
“We really struggled today,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We didn’t make pitches.”
After going 4-0 last year for their first season sweep of the Yankees, the Mets picked up right where they left off last May.
Curtis Granderson connected in his return to Yankee Stadium, and the Mets also got long balls from Eric Young Jr. and Travis d’Arnaud while overcoming a pair of three-run deficits.
“You know in this ballpark the game’s never over,” Mets captain David Wright said. “There’s no lead that’s safe here.”
Lumbering first baseman Lucas Duda turned in two spectacular defensive plays, starting a game-ending double play with runners at the corners by making a diving stop of Brian McCann’s sharp grounder.
“He hit the ball pretty hard and I just got lucky,” Duda said. “I stuck my glove out, and that was it.”
Brett Gardner hit an early grand slam off ex-Yankee Bartolo Colon, and Derek Jeter had three hits for the first time since September 30, 2012, in Toronto.
Beltran, the designated hitter, got hurt in the indoor cage between at-bats. He left in the seventh with a hyperextended right elbow and was scheduled to have an MRI.
“I’m concerned because it was enough to take himself out of the game,” Girardi said.
Teixeira didn’t start because of a tight left groin. The Yankees also were missing Suzuki and reliever Shawn Kelley due to their aching backs.
All that one day after CC Sabathia went on the disabled list with right knee inflammation, leaving the team without three of the five starting pitchers who began the season in the rotation.
“That’s what happens to guys that are older. You get bumps and bruises,” Teixeira said. “But we have a very deep team. We have a bunch of guys that are champing at the bit to get at-bats. We have All-Stars sitting on the bench. So we’ll fill in where we need to fill in.”
Before the game, Mejia (4-0) was removed from the Mets’ rotation and added to a struggling bullpen — a move he was reluctant to make. He entered in the seventh for his first relief appearance since September 2012 and struck out Alfonso Soriano on three pitches before working a scoreless eighth.
Kyle Farnsworth pitched a shaky ninth for his third save — aided by Teixeira’s nagging injury.
The slugger laced a pinch-hit single to right that went to the wall and sent Jeter to third base. A gimpy Teixeira had to stop at first, though, and was pulled for pinch-runner Brendan Ryan.
That kept the double play in order and Duda turned a rare 3-5-3 gem with third baseman Wright, who was shifted near shortstop against McCann.
“I was under orders not to bust it. Try to put it in the seats or get on base,” Teixeira said. “I’m going to play tomorrow no matter what.”
Pinch-hitter Eric Campbell, enjoying his third day in the majors, got the Mets started in the eighth by hustling for a double after his sharp grounder caromed off third baseman Yangervis Solarte and into left field.
Duda blooped a single to center off Matt Thornton (0-1), and Campbell barely beat Jacoby Ellsbury’s accurate throw with a nifty slide at the plate. Chris Young greeted Preston Claiborne with a two-run shot to left, giving the Mets a 9-7 lead.
The Yankees snapped a 4-all tie with three runs in the sixth off Colon, who gave up 11 hits for the second time this season.
Young Jr. trimmed it to 7-6 with a two-run homer off Alfredo Aceves, who relieved starter Hiroki Kuroda in the seventh.
“Obviously, the home runs changed the momentum of the game,” Kuroda said through a translator. “As bad as I was, I was trying to hang in there.”
The crowd of 46,517, chanting back and forth as usual, included Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra — who received a warm hand on his 89th birthday — and The 7 Line Army was out in full force wearing orange shirts that read “Bronx Invasion.”
In the first inning, Granderson turned and greeted fans in right.
The slugger signed a $60 million, four-year contract with the Mets in December after spending four seasons with the Yankees. He caused a bit of a stir in the offseason by saying, “A lot of the people I’ve met in New York have always said that true New Yorkers are Mets fans.”
“The Mets fans came out in droves,” Granderson said.
NOTES: The Yankees scratched RHP Chase Whitley from his scheduled Triple-A start Sunday so he would be ready to pitch the Subway Series finale Thursday in place of Sabathia. The other option was Aceves. Whitley started Monday for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and threw one inning. … The best-case scenario for injured RHP Michael Pineda (upper back muscle, near shoulder muscle) is a return in the first or second week of June, GM Brian Cashman said. … Soriano’s second-inning single made him the seventh player to get 1,000 hits in the American League and National League.
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