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New York Yankees at New York Mets

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N.Y. Yankees (18-21)000200000260
N.Y. Mets (26-14) «10002000x351

Chavez's first HR of year results in Mets win over Yanks

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- With the bunt sign on, Endy Chavez took a ball from Andy Pettitte. Then manager Willie Randolph signaled for Chavez to swing away, and the light-hitting New York Mets outfielder connected for his first home run of the year.

It's been that kind of season for the Mets -- and Yankees.

Chavez's go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth inning led the Mets to a 3-2 victory Friday night in this year's Subway Series opener and dropped their crosstown rival 10 games back in the AL East for the first time in the Joe Torre era.

"I had a feeling about the situation," Randolph said.

Chavez also threw out Johnny Damon trying to stretch a game-opening hit to left into a double, and the Yankees' sputtering offense rarely threatened after that.

Oliver Perez (5-3) limited the Yankees to Hideki Matsui's two-run homer in the fourth, another stellar start in a remarkable turnaround for a pitcher who went 3-13 in the regular season last year. After Matsui's homer, the Yankees didn't get a runner past first base.

"I know it means a lot to a lot of people," Chavez said. "I think they take it personal. It's special because it's like fighting for the city."

It's been a reversal of fortune for both teams in the Big Apple this season.

Coming off their first NL East title since 1988, the Mets (27-14) opened a two-game lead over second-place Atlanta. The Yankees (18-22), who have won nine straight AL East titles, fell 10 games behind division-leading Boston. The Yankees had not been double digits back in the division since they trailed the Red Sox by 10 games after play on Sept. 22, 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"I guess if you're here long enough, that stuff is going to happen to you," said Torre, who became the Yankees' manager after the 1995 season. "We still need to just get our house in order without worrying about who we're chasing at this point in time."

The Yankees dropped to 3-8 when the opponent starts a left-hander and have lost six of eight overall. After this series, they host the Red Sox for three games.

"This team is just as capable of reeling off 15 straight wins," said Jason Giambi, who ended the game when he pinch hit in the ninth and struck out against Billy Wagner with a runner on first.

The Yankees, whose 26 World Series titles dwarf the Mets' two, entered with a 32-22 advantage over their Queens foe in interleague play, and they beat the Mets in five games in the 2000 World Series. The Mets' record is 8½ games better than that of the Yankees -- before this year, the biggest margin the Mets had held since interleague play began was 3½ games in July 2000, according to Elias.

In the high-intensity cauldron of the Subway Series, Perez kept his cool on a 52-degree night, giving up five hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking two.

"They hit me hard but on the ground," he said.

When he was replaced by Joe Smith with none on after striking out pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu and Damon, Perez made an emphatic leap over the first-base line, then tipped his cap to the boisterous sellout crowd of 56,337.

Smith threw a called third strike past Derek Jeter that left the Yankees' captain discussing the pitch with plate umpire Greg Gibson, and Wagner finished to remain perfect in 10 save chances.

After Matsui beat out an infield single with two outs, Wagner fanned Giambi on a slider that ended a nine-pitch at-bat.

"It was a tough pitch to lay off of because it started out down the middle of the plate and fell off the table," Wagner said. "It was the best pitch I threw all night."

Pettitte (2-3) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. He is 1-2 in his last four starts despite not allowing more than three runs in any of them.

"We've got about as talented a group of guys as there is," Pettitte said. "Sooner or later we're going to put it together. It's just frustrating while you're in it."

Perez had some trouble in the first. After Damon was thrown out by Chavez, Perez walked Jeter, then walked Jorge Posada with two outs. Matsui ended the inning with a lineout to second.

"Luck just doesn't happen," Damon said. "We're trying to create some things out there. He made a perfect play. It's unfortunate."

Jose Reyes singled leading off the bottom half, went to second on Damion Easley's walk, third on Carlos Beltran's comebacker and scored on Carlos Delgado's sacrifice fly.

Matsui followed Posada's one-out single in the fourth with just his third homer of the season, his first since May 4. The 2-1 lead didn't last long -- Paul Lo Duca doubled in the fifth and Chavez turned on an 88 mph fastball and sent it over the right-field wall for his first home run since Sept. 30.

"I'm always on him about trying to hit home runs in batting practice, but it came in handy this time," Randolph said.

That was enough. In their last seven losses, the Yankees have scored three runs or fewer.

"It's puzzling," said Alex Rodriguez, who was 0-for-4 and has one homer and five RBI in May. "We sound like a recorder about every time a pitcher dominates us."

Notes

  • Giambi, hampered by a foot injury, has one hit in his last 25 at-bats.
  • Chavez is batting .341 (14-for-41) in 11 starts this year.
  • At 2 hours, 18 minutes, it was the fastest game of the year for both teams.
 
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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Endy Chavez hits a two-run slam off Andy Pettitte to put the Mets ahead for good.  (Getty Images)
Endy Chavez hits a two-run slam off Andy Pettitte to put the Mets ahead for good. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
New York

E. Chavez
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
New York

H. Matsui
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4010010 .256
    Scott Proctor, P0000000 .000
Derek Jeter, SS3010110 .367
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4000011 .310
Jorge Posada, C3110111 .370
Hideki Matsui, LF4122003 .284
Melky Cabrera, RF-CF3000000 .220
   a- Jason Giambi, PH1000011 .270
Robinson Cano, 2B3010010 .236
Josh Phelps, 1B3000001 .239
Andy Pettitte, P2000010 .000
   b- Bobby Abreu, PH-RF1000010 .235
Totals3126228  
a-struck out for Cabrera in the 9th
b-struck out for Pettitte in the 8th
Batting
HR - Hideki Matsui (3, Perez)
RBI - Hideki Matsui 2 (20)
SB - Derek Jeter (4, 3rd base off Perez/Lo Duca)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-Phelps
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (L,2-3) 7533141 2.83
Scott Proctor 1000020 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 87-54, Scott Proctor 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 9-7
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 26, Scott Proctor 3
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4110001 .335
Damion Easley, 2B3000111 .269
Carlos Beltran, CF3000020 .299
Carlos Delgado, 1B2001010 .213
David Wright, 3B3000001 .274
Paul Lo Duca, C3120000 .298
Endy Chavez, LF3112001 .352
Carlos Gomez, RF3000001 .333
Oliver Perez, P2010010 .368
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
   a- David Newhan, PH1000010 .192
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
Totals2735316  
a-struck out for Smith in the 8th
Batting
2B - Paul Lo Duca 2 (4, Pettitte, Pettitte)
HR - Endy Chavez (1, Pettitte)
SF - Carlos Delgado (2)
RBI - Carlos Delgado (22), Endy Chavez 2 (9)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Endy Chavez 1
DP - Wright-Easley-Delgado
E - Carlos Gomez (1, Dropped fly)
New York Mets
Oliver Perez (W,5-3) 7.2522251 2.90
Joe Smith (H,4) 0.1000010 1.45
Billy Wagner (S,10) 1100020 0.50
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 108-65, Joe Smith 9-6, Billy Wagner 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 7-9, Billy Wagner 1-0
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 28, Joe Smith 1, Billy Wagner 4
Game Information
Attendance - 56337
Game Time - 2:18
Temperature - 52
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Chris Guccione