|N.Y. Yankees «||0||1||8||4||3||0||0||0||x||16||14||0|
Rodriguez hit a grand slam and a three-run homer, sending the Yankees to a 16-7 blowout of the Mets in their Subway Series finale Sunday.
"We needed to win this game. We don't have a 10-game lead like they do," Rodriguez said. "Every game for us is monumental."
The Mets, who have lost five of six, had a franchise-record six players chosen for the All-Star team earlier in the day -- but they sure didn't play like the sound squad that's built an 11-game cushion in the NL East through half the season.
"One minute, everything was going good. And the next minute, their offense exploded," Mets All-Star David Wright said.
The Yankees broke out for the most runs scored by either team in a Subway Series game since interleague play began in 1997, emphatically capping a season of dominance by the AL. The junior circuit went 154-98 against the NL for a .611 winning percentage -- obliterating the previous high of .547 by the NL in '97, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Mets and Yankees split six games, with the Bronx Bombers taking two of three at home this weekend.
Long after this one was decided, Carlos Beltran homered twice for the Mets. He finished with four hits.
Selected to his 10th All-Star team earlier in the day, Rodriguez put the Yankees ahead with a grand slam off rookie starter Alay Soler (2-3) in the third inning, then added a three-run shot off Heath Bell in the fifth to make it 16-5.
"Alex was all of it, just about," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "In front of the crowd tonight, against the Mets, all those things that seem to heighten the tension here -- he did the job. Hopefully, we can just move on."
Booed lustily at Yankee Stadium as he slumped through much of June, the two-time MVP has turned it around with four homers in four games. He popped out of the dugout for two curtain calls Sunday night to boisterous cheers from the Yankee-partisan crowd of 55,212.
"That was nice. It's been an awful first half. I haven't felt a rhythm all year," Rodriguez said.
Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca was angry with the way Rodriguez watched his grand slam and tossed his bat away, yelling at the third baseman as he crossed home plate.
After some enthusiastic high-fives, Rodriguez turned back toward Lo Duca, but they were separated by plate umpire Tim McClelland as Jason Giambi jawed with Lo Duca.
"It upset me a little bit that he threw his bat. I want to protect my pitcher, and I didn't like the way he showed him up," Lo Duca said. "You want to stare at it, that's fine. But don't toss your bat and stare at your dugout like that. Act like you've hit one before."
There was no further trouble the rest of the night. Rodriguez declined to comment.
"It's over with, and that's that," Lo Duca said.
After the Mets chased an ineffective Jaret Wright with four runs in the second, Ron Villone (3-1) restored order with three solid innings and gave the Yankees a chance to come back. The left-hander has earned the team's last three wins in a span of four games.
Called up from the minors Tuesday as infield insurance when All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano went on the disabled list, the seldom-used Green provided a surprising spark with his bat and glove.
Making his first start for the Yankees, he threw out a runner at the plate with a strong relay and robbed Carlos Delgado of a hit with a tumbling play at second base. Green also reached base safely three times and scored twice from the No. 9 hole.
Green's two-run shot in the Yankees' season-best, eight-run third made it 9-4 and snapped his 0-for-25 skid dating to earlier this season with Tampa Bay. It was his first homer since July 8 last year for the Devil Rays.
"It's fun whenever you play for a team of this caliber," Green said. "When I was over with the Braves it was the same thing. You go out there expecting to win. Sometimes it brings out the best in people."
Staked to a 4-0 cushion, Soler fell apart. The right-hander gave up a leadoff homer to Posada in the second, then walked his first two batters in the third.
Derek Jeter hit an RBI single, and Soler was late covering first base on an infield single by the slow-footed Giambi. That loaded the bases for Rodriguez, who drove a 1-2 pitch into the right-center bleachers for his 13th career slam -- second this season -- and a 6-4 lead.
Soler committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and Melky Cabrera hit an RBI double before Green homered off Bell.
"That blew up real quick," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "What's there to talk about? You can't walk guys in front of a lineup like that."
An error by Mets right fielder Xavier Nady led to four runs in the fourth. Cabrera's two-run double made it 13-4.
|A-Rod receives teammates' props after hitting a grand slam off of Alay Soler in the third inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||3||1||1||2||1||1||0|
|Chris Woodward, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Paul Lo Duca, C||5||0||2||1||0||0||0|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||5||2||4||2||0||0||2|
|Carlos Delgado, DH||4||0||0||0||1||2||3|
|David Wright, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||3|
|Eli Marrero, 3B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Cliff Floyd, LF||5||1||1||0||0||0||2|
|Jose Valentin, 2B||5||1||2||1||0||3||2|
|Julio Franco, 1B||4||1||2||1||0||1||1|
|Xavier Nady, RF||3||1||0||0||1||1||1|
|2B - Carlos Beltran (, Wright), Jose Valentin (, Villone), Julio Franco 2 (, Wright, Villone)|
|3B - Jose Reyes (, Wright)|
|HR - Carlos Beltran 2 (, Beam, Proctor)|
|RBI - Jose Reyes 2 (), Paul Lo Duca (), Carlos Beltran 2 (), Jose Valentin (), Julio Franco ()|
|2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes 2 (), Paul Lo Duca (), Carlos Beltran (), Julio Franco ()|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Carlos Beltran 1|
|DP - Beltran-Valentin-Franco|
|E - Xavier Nady (, Dropped fly), Alay Soler (, Wild pickoff attempt)|
|New York Mets|
|Alay Soler (L,-)||2.2||7||8||8||3||0||2|
|Pitches-Strikes - Alay Soler 65-34, Heath Bell 66-38, Chad Bradford 24-15, Pedro Feliciano 23-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alay Soler 4-3, Heath Bell 6-2, Chad Bradford 3-0, Pedro Feliciano 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Alay Soler 17, Heath Bell 16, Chad Bradford 5, Pedro Feliciano 7|
|New York Yankees|
|Johnny Damon, CF||3||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|a- Kevin Reese, PH-RF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Derek Jeter, SS||5||2||3||1||0||0||2|
|Jason Giambi, DH||3||2||2||0||2||1||0|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||5||3||3||7||0||0||2|
|Jorge Posada, C||3||2||2||1||2||0||0|
|Bernie Williams, RF||4||2||0||0||0||0||3|
|Bubba Crosby, RF-CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|Andy Phillips, 1B||5||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|Melky Cabrera, LF||5||1||2||3||0||0||0|
|Nick Green, 2B||3||2||1||2||2||0||1|
|a-singled for Damon in the 6th|
|2B - Jorge Posada (, Soler), Melky Cabrera 2 (, Soler, Bell)|
|HR - Alex Rodriguez 2 (, Soler, Bell), Jorge Posada (, Soler), Nick Green (, Bell)|
|RBI - Derek Jeter (), Alex Rodriguez 7 (), Jorge Posada (), Melky Cabrera 3 (), Nick Green 2 ()|
|2-OUT RBI - Melky Cabrera 3 (), Nick Green 2 ()|
|SB - Nick Green (, 2nd base off Soler/Lo Duca)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Johnny Damon 1|
|New York Yankees|
|Ron Villone (W,-)||3||3||1||1||2||3||0|
|WP - Jaret Wright ()|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jaret Wright 44-26, Ron Villone 63-38, T.J. Beam 20-13, Mike Myers 22-16, Scott Proctor 10-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ron Villone 1-5, T.J. Beam 2-1, Mike Myers 1-4|
|Batters Faced - Jaret Wright 12, Ron Villone 14, T.J. Beam 6, Mike Myers 6, Scott Proctor 5|
|Attendance - 55212|
|Game Time - 3:27|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Gerry Davis|