The New York Mets defeated their crosstown rivals the New York Yankees in a 9-7 slugfest Monday night at Yankee Stadium. The Mets made two comebacks in the game, to win the first of two games that will be played in the Bronx, part of a four game New York Interleague series with the other two games to be played at Citi Field in Queens.
The Mets tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the sixth with a two run homer by right fielder Curtis Granderson, and after the Yankees retook the lead 7-4 in the bottom half of the sixth, the Mets tied it in the top of the eighth on a bloop single by first baseman Lucas Duda. The next batter centerfielder Chris Young then hit a two run shot to retake the lead 9-7. Each Mets outfielder had a two run homer and another hit for good measure.
Before the game the Mets announced that Jenrry Mejia would be removed from the rotation and placed in the bullpen (more on that later) while one of their top pitching prospects, Rafael Montero, would take his place in the rotation. After the game the team announced reliever Gonzalez Germen would be placed on the disabled list with a virus and pitching prospect Jacob deGrom would take his place in the bullpen.
Left fielder Eric Young Jr. led off the game for the Mets with a single to right and the speedy outfielder then immediately stole second base, his 15th theft this season. Second baseman Daniel Murphy then hit a grounder to first for out number one that advanced Young Jr. to third. Third baseman David Wright then grounded out to shortstop, but Young Jr. scored giving the Mets an early 1-0 lead. Curtis Granderson followed with a single to center, but Bobby Abreu starting at the designated hitter spot, struck out looking to retire the side.
The Yankees did not score in the bottom of the first, and the Mets did not bring home a run in the top of the second. In the bottom half of the second, Yankee catcher Brian McCann singled to right center to lead off. Right fielder Alfonso Soriano and third baseman Yangervis Solarte each followed with a single to center to load the bases. Mets veteran starter Bartolo Colon then struck out first baseman Kelly Johnson and got second baseman Brian Roberts to line out to first. Left fielder Brett Gardner then hit a grand slam to put the Yankees up 4-1. Shortstop Derek Jeter then singled to left, but centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury struck out looking to end the inning.
Both teams were retired in order the next two innings. Centerfielder Chris Young started the fifth inning with strikeout swinging. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud then lined a ball just over the right field fence for a home run, cutting the lead to 4-2 Yankees. Shortstop Ruben Tejada grounded out to third, but Eric Young Jr. lined a double to right. Daniel Murphy then grounded out to short to retire the side. The Yankees did not score in the bottom half of the fifth.
David Wright led off the top of the sixth with a single to right, and Curtis Granderson lined a shot over the short porch in right field to tie the game at 4-4. Bobby Abreu grounded out to first, Lucas Duda struck out swinging, and Chris Young grounded out to shortstop to retire the side.
After Brian McCann flied out to right to start the bottom of the sixth, Alfonso Soriano hit a ball that one hopped the wall in left for a ground-rule double. Yangervis Solarte then blooped a single to right scoring Soriano to retake the lead, 5-4 Yankees. Kelly Johnson then smoked a ball in the gap in left center that Chris Young failed to cut off and it rolled all the way to the wall. Solarte scored and Johnson was safe at third, increasing the Yankee lead to 6-4. Brian Roberts grounded into a fielder’s choice at shortstop. Ruben Tejada threw home and Johnson was tagged out at the plate. Brett Gardner followed with a single to right that allowed Roberts to advance over to third. That would end Bartolo Colon’s night and in came reliever Carlos Torres.
Roberts scored on an errant throw by Travis d’Arnaud on a stolen base attempt by Gardner, making it 7-4 Yankees. Derek Jeter then hit a ball two feet in front of the plate. The ball hit Jeter’s leg as he was running out of the batter’s box for the third out, ending the inning. Colon’s final line was 5 2/3 innings pitched, 7 runs allowed, 6 earned on 11 hits and 4 strikeouts.
In the top of the seventh, d’Arnaud led off with a walk. Ruben Tejada struck out swinging, but Eric Young Jr. lined a shot to right for his first home run of the year bringing the Mets to within a run with a score of 7-6 Yankees. Daniel Murphy then reached on an infield single to short. David Wright then struck out swinging. Matt Thorton entered in relief of Alfredo Alceves who replaced starter Hiroki Kiroda at the start of the inning. With Curtis Granderson at the plate, Murphy was thrown out trying to steal second to retire the side.
Lefty relief specialist Scott Rice entered the game in the bottom of the seventh. Rice struck out Jacoby Ellsbury to start the bottom of the inning. Backup catcher John Ryan Murphy was then called to pinch-hit for designated hitter Carlos Beltran who hurt his elbow swinging in the batting cage during the game. Murphy walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Rice. Rice was pulled and in came Jenrry Mejia to get the final out of the inning. It was Mejia’s first relief appearance since September of 2012. Mejia then struck out Alfonso Soriano swinging to end the inning.
Curtis Granderson popped out to second to start the top of the eighth. Infielder Eric Campbell then pinch-hit for Bobby Abreu, and hit a bloop double to left. Lucas Duda then broke his bat on a pitch that fell in for a single. Campbell hustled around third and beat the throw home tying the game 7-7. Duda advanced to second on the throw. Preston Claiborne was called to relieve Matt Thorton. Claiborne then served up a two run blast to Chris Young putting the Mets up 9-7. Travis d’Arnaud struck out looking, but Ruben Tejada lined a double to left field. Eric Young Jr. then flied out to center ending the Mets turn at bat.
Yangervis Solarte led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to left but was erased on a groundball double play by Kelly Johnson. Brian Roberts then singled past Ruben Tejada. Mejia then struck out Brett Garnder looking to end the inning. The newly minted reliever danced his way back to the dugout in celebration. The Mets did not score in the top of the ninth.
Mets closer Kyle Farnsworth came in to shut the door on the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth, and Juan Lagares entered as a defensive replacement in centerfield while Chris Young shifted over to left. Derek Jeter walked to lead off, but Jacoby Ellsbury flied to center for the first out. Mark Teixeria then pinch-hit for James Ryan Murphy at DH. Teixeria smoked a ball off the right field fence, advancing Jeter to third, but Teixeria only made it to first due to the tightness in his leg that kept him out of the starting lineup. Brendon Ryan was then called to pinch-run for the hobbled first baseman. Brian McCann then hit a rocket that Lucas Duda made a diving stop on. Duda threw to David Wright, who was over at shortstop due to a massive over shift to the right, and Wright relayed the ball back to Duda to complete the double play to end the game.
Jenrry Mejia picked up the win in relief to improve his record to 4-0 on the season while Matt Thorton picked up his first loss, dropping his record to 0-1. The win was the Mets fifth consecutive victory against the Yankees dating back to last season. Zack Wheeler takes the mound for the Mets tomorrow night against Vidal Nuno for the Yankees.
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