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New York Yankees at New York Mets

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N.Y. Mets «01100023x7150

Benson dominant as Mets rough up Yankees, Big Unit

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Dae-Sung Koo tiptoed into the batter's box in the seventh inning and looked up to see 6-foot-10 Randy Johnson standing atop the mound, staring right down at him.

Quite an intimidating predicament for a left-handed hitting reliever in his second big league at-bat. The first one had been embarrassing enough, and this was about to become perhaps the biggest mismatch in baseball history.

"In the dugout, we were trying to figure out how many pitches it would take for him to get the bat off his shoulder," David Wright said after he and Koo helped the New York Mets beat the Yankees 7-1 Saturday.

Then came the most stunning swing of the season -- followed by an even more surprising dash to the plate.

Crack! A long drive to center field, way over Bernie Williams' head for a leadoff double.

It was a jaw-dropping sight considering Koo's first plate appearance against Cincinnati on Monday night -- he stood at the edge of the batter's box and watched three strikes go by, never taking the bat off his shoulder, seemingly terrified.

"I think everybody was kind of in a state of shock. I mean, to get your first major league hit off Randy Johnson," Wright said. "If we fined him the last time he batted, we'll take the fine off him for this time."

And Koo was far from done.

He moved to third on Jose Reyes' sacrifice, and took off for home when he noticed that nobody was covering the plate.

Second baseman Robinson Cano threw to catcher Jorge Posada, who tried to get back in time. Koo, wearing a jacket to keep his arm warm, scored with a headfirst dive just under the tag.

"Great instincts, man. He saw Jorge was up the line," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "I wouldn't call him an athlete, but it was an athletic play. I'm glad he got that pinky in there."

That did it. With a 3-0 lead, everyone on the Mets' bench broke up laughing. Doug Mientkiewicz even fanned Koo with a towel.

"They said a lot of things, I just couldn't understand what they were saying," the South Korean lefty said through a translator. "I think they said, 'Good job.'"

Or something like that -- not to diminish the importance of Koo's contribution (he also struck out all three batters he faced).

Miguel Cairo followed with his first home run for the Mets, and they added three in the eighth to even the Subway Series at a game apiece.

Kris Benson threw six-plus shutout innings, and Reyes drove in four runs. Wright had a pair of RBI doubles as the Mets roughed up Johnson for 12 hits.

"I tried to keep them at bay. We did the best we could. Kris pitched better than I did," Johnson said. "I don't put credence in the rivalry stuff. I go out and do the best I can regardless of what uniform I'm wearing."

Bad baserunning cost the Yankees, who lost for only the second time in 13 games.

Each team lost a star player to injury. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter left in the sixth after he was hit on the left elbow by Benson's pitch. X-rays were negative and he was day to day.

Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran came out after the fifth because of a strained right quadriceps. And second baseman Kaz Matsui departed in the sixth with a strained upper back. He and Beltran were day to day.

Pedro Martinez will start the decisive game of the series for the Mets at Shea Stadium on Sunday against Carl Pavano -- the two were traded for each other in 1997.

Johnson (4-3) gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings, striking out five after failing to fan a batter during his last start in Oakland. The 12 hits allowed were one short of his career worst set on May 10, 1999, with Arizona against Montreal.

"It's tough to live up to yourself all the time. I know he's not pleased where he's at right now," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Benson (2-1) was much better, giving up only three hits in his first career appearance against the Yankees. He has made four starts after missing the first month of the season with a strained chest muscle, winning the last two.

Randolph loaded up his lineup with all right-handed hitters against Johnson, and it paid off immediately. The Big Unit gave up hits to nine of his first 16 batters -- including Benson.

His bloop single put runners at the corners with two outs in the second, and Reyes' second single gave the Mets the lead.

Wright got the Mets' first extra-base hit, a two-out RBI double off the right-center fence in the third to make it 2-0.

The Yankees put two on in the sixth, but Hideki Matsui lined into an inning-ending double play. Tony Womack was doubled off second, leaving Benson pumping his fist as he bounced off the mound.

Wright added an RBI double in the eighth, and Reyes tripled home two runs against Buddy Groom.

Alex Rodriguez hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth off Braden Looper.

Notes

  • Yankees RF Gary Sheffield was a late scratch from the lineup because of a sore left hand, the first start he's missed all season. That gave Bernie Williams a chance to play in CF. Hideki Matsui started in RF for the first time in his major league career.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Cliff Floyd shows Miguel Cairo some love after Cairo tees off on Randy Johnson.  (AP)
Cliff Floyd shows Miguel Cairo some love after Cairo tees off on Randy Johnson. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Reyes
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 4
New York

K. Benson
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 3
K 3
 
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS2000000 .306
    Rey Sanchez, SS1000000 .348
Tony Womack, LF4110011 .281
Bernie Williams, CF3000100 .233
Hideki Matsui, RF4010023 .265
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3021101 .305
Tino Martinez, 1B3000111 .263
Jorge Posada, C4010012 .270
Robinson Cano, 2B2000110 .305
Randy Johnson, P2000013 .000
    Paul Quantrill, P0000000 .000
   a- Ruben Sierra, PH1000000 .250
    Buddy Groom, P0000000 .000
Totals291514711 
a-popped out for Quantrill in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jorge Posada (7, Benson)
RBI - Alex Rodriguez (42)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez (19)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-T. Martinez
New York Yankees
Randy Johnson (L,4-3) 6.21244051 3.94
Paul Quantrill 0.1000010 3.63
Buddy Groom 1333110 5.59
Pitches-Strikes - Buddy Groom 27-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 11-2, Buddy Groom 2-0
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 30, Paul Quantrill 1, Buddy Groom 7
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4034000 .269
Miguel Cairo, 1B-2B5111014 .245
Carlos Beltran, CF3020000 .302
    Cliff Floyd, LF1000010 .289
Mike Piazza, C4120011 .245
Mike Cameron, RF-CF4110013 .365
David Wright, 3B4122020 .283
Chris Woodward, LF-RF4010001 .279
Kaz Matsui, 2B2110002 .246
    Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B2000001 .209
Kris Benson, P2010010 .286
    Dae-Sung Koo, P1110000 .500
    Roberto Hernandez, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Valent, PH0100100 .161
    Braden Looper, P0000000 .000
Totals3671571712 
a-walked for Hernandez in the 8th
Batting
2B - David Wright 2 (12, R. Johnson, Groom), Dae-Sung Koo (1, R. Johnson)
3B - Jose Reyes (4, Groom)
HR - Miguel Cairo (1, R. Johnson)
SH - Jose Reyes (2)
RBI - Jose Reyes 4 (16), Miguel Cairo (4), David Wright 2 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes 3 (7), David Wright (8)
CS - Miguel Cairo (1, 2nd base by R. Johnson/Posada)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Benson-Reyes-Cairo, Cairo-Reyes
New York Mets
Kris Benson (W,2-1) 6300330 3.70
Dae-Sung Koo (H,4) 1.1000030 3.38
Roberto Hernandez 0.2000000 2.49
Braden Looper 1211110 4.41
IBB - Cano by Kris Benson
HBP - Jeter (by Kris Benson)
Pitches-Strikes - Kris Benson 79-44, Dae-Sung Koo 14-9, Roberto Hernandez 4-2, Braden Looper 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Benson 7-6, Braden Looper 2-0
Batters Faced - Kris Benson 23, Dae-Sung Koo 3, Roberto Hernandez 2, Braden Looper 6
Game Information
Attendance - 55800
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Chuck Meriwether, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Tim McClelland