NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte was getting antsy during a sixth-inning rain delay. He figured he owed the New York Yankees at least a few more outs, but his body was beginning to stiffen up in the clubhouse.
So the 36-year-old lefty went down to the bullpen and started throwing to stay loose, which helped him get through one more valuable inning before calling it a day.
"I'm not worried. If my arm goes out again, I'll just take it to the house," Pettitte said, smiling. "I didn't think I was coming out."
Robinson Cano delivered a key RBI single off Santana, who has received little support from his teammates while dropping four consecutive decisions for the second time in his career.
Pettitte (9-5) allowed only solo homers to Ramon Castro and David Wright in six neat innings, winning his fourth start in a row since allowing 10 runs in a June 7 no-decision against Kansas City. The left-hander improved to 6-0 with a 3.54 ERA in eight outings since a May 17 loss to Santana at Yankee Stadium.
"It's not the first time I've pitched against an ace of another staff," Pettitte said. "It's always a challenge."
"This is what makes the season -- the one-run games," Farnsworth said. "It was just a big win all around today."
Rivera has saved 54 of Pettitte's 210 career wins, the second-highest total by a pair of major league pitchers since saves became an official stat in 1969, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley saved 55 victories for Bob Welch.
"He's just great. You can't say enough about what he's done, how easy he makes it look. It's not that easy," Pettitte said about Rivera. "I'm fortunate to have him closing for me. I'm not going to lie - I'm a little envious of him because he makes it look awfully easy out there."
Carlos Beltran struck out all four times up, three against Pettitte, and the Mets fell to 3-2 in the Subway Series this season. The road team has won all five games.
The final meeting of the year is Sunday, with erratic Mets lefty Oliver Perez possibly pitching to keep his spot in the rotation.
The Yankees won for the 11th time in 15 games overall, one day after the teams split their two-stadium doubleheader. This one was delayed 26 minutes at the start and 53 minutes in the middle of the sixth because of rain.
Santana (7-7) is 0-4 in his last five starts despite a 2.53 ERA. He struck out eight over six innings Saturday, yielding three runs and four hits with four walks -- one intentional -- while falling to 4-1 against the Yankees in the regular season.
Santana also lost a career-worst four straight decisions from May 18 to June 3, 2004. That season, he won the first of his two AL Cy Young Awards with Minnesota.
"I'm doing my job. I'm giving my best effort out there," Santana said. "Every time I go out there I'm giving my team a chance to win. Other than that, there's nothing I can do."
After the sixth-inning delay, Wright cut it to 3-2 by hitting Pettitte's fifth pitch down the left-field line for his team-leading 15th home run.
Jose Reyes' base running mistake cost Wright an RBI chance in the fifth. Looking to steal third with two on and two outs, Reyes was picked off second base by Pettitte.
"They guessed right there and they got me," Reyes said. "I was sure I could make it, but he got me. What can I say?"
Santana appeared to have Alex Rodriguez picked off in the sixth, but the left-hander was called for a balk that put A-Rod on second. He scored on Cano's two-out single in a steady rain, increasing the Yankees' lead to 3-1.
Castro opened the scoring in the second with a 425-foot shot off the camera tower beyond the center-field fence, snapping Pettitte's 20-inning shutout streak.
Santana walked consecutive batters to start the fourth, and Mets manager Jerry Manuel gave plate umpire Mike Everitt an earful during a visit to the mound.
- Manuel said the Mets "more than likely" will activate RF Ryan Church (post-concussion syndrome) from the disabled list Sunday.
- Manuel also said oft-injured LF Moises Alou (strained left calf) might be playing in rehab games by Monday and could return to the lineup next weekend in Philadelphia.
- Derek Jeter's hitting streak ended at 15 games.
- Pettitte is 8-4 against the Mets.