Mets power up on Yanks, cut magic number to 8
NEW YORK -- Jeurys Familia pumped his fist as the second-largest regular-season crowd in Citi Field history roared. Juan Uribe flipped his bat as one of the more impactful homers of this Mets season left the yard.
Amidst regular-season Subway Series stakes that have never been higher, the Mets quelled worries about a September slide by blasting three homers Friday in a 5-1 win over the Yankees, who lost more ground to the Blue Jays in the American League East. Lucas Duda hit a game-tying homer in the second inning, Daniel Murphy crushed a go-ahead shot in the sixth and Uribe provided some breathing room with a two-run homer in the seventh.
It was enough for the Mets to retain an eight-game National League East lead over the Nationals with 15 to play, lowering their magic number to clinch to eight, while the Yankees fell 4 1/2 games back of the Blue Jays.
"The fans have been absolutely electric the last two months, three months," Duda said. "Thanks to them for coming out and showing support every night."
The winner was rookie Steven Matz, who held the Yankees scoreless after a Chris Young sacrifice fly in the first. Matz outdueled Masahiro Tanaka, who allowed the first two of New York's three homers in front of 43,602 fans.
"He's got a good arm," Yankees infielder Chase Headley said of Matz. "Big, left-handed pitcher that has an easy delivery and the ball gets on you a little bit. He mixes his pitches ... curveball, changeup. Didn't walk anybody. He really didn't hurt himself. Nice arm, kept us off-balance."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Oh, Murph: With Matz one out from being stuck with a no-decision, Murphy cranked a solo homer off Tanaka to right-center field. That gave the Mets their first lead of the game, a 2-1 advantage, putting Matz in line for his fourth career win and Tanaka in line for a defeat.
Tanaka gets early hook: Tanaka could not replicate his Subway Series debut from last season, when he hurled a shutout in Queens, but he still limited the Mets to the pair of solo homers among five hits over six innings. The Yankees removed Tanaka for pinch-hitter Jacoby Ellsbury in the seventh inning, trailing 2-1 at the time, and that could suggest a plan to bring Tanaka back on four days' rest on Wednesday at Toronto. More >
"Overall, I think I felt good," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "It's just those two pitches, those two home runs that I gave up. Those were mistakes, and unfortunately they got the best out of it."
Juan more homer: Scoring four of their five runs on homers, the Mets took control of the game for good when Uribe bashed a pinch-hit, two-run shot off Chasen Shreve in the seventh. That gave Addison Reed and Familia a multiple-run cushion to work with at the back of New York's bullpen.
"I talked to one of Uribe's former managers and one thing he told me about him is, 'This guy is a big-time player,'" Mets manager Terry Collins said. "'He will get big-time hits for you.'"
Shreve struggling: Shreve was a key contributor to the Yanks' brilliant bullpen in the first half, but the left-hander has run into a September swoon. Shreve has now surrendered six runs over his last five appearances, spanning four innings, including three homers. Shreve has made 55 appearances but said he feels fine physically, and that fatigue is not a factor.
"It's frustrating, because I feel like I had a good year thus far, and there's no time to make it up now," Shreve said. "I've just got to do damage control and try to finish strong."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Mets have won eight of their last 12 games against the Yankees dating back to 2013.
Reed pitched a scoreless eighth inning instead of Tyler Clippard, whose back tightened up during pregame exercises. Clippard said he hoped to be available as soon as Saturday.
"First time I've ever experienced anything like that," he said after the game. "That's why I didn't want to push it, because it was kind of an unknown thing for me. But it feels good now and we'll see tomorrow morning how it feels, but I feel optimistic about it."
Yankees: Michael Pineda (10-8, 4.25 ERA) will try to snap a two-start run of underwhelming efforts when he faces the Mets on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Pineda faced the Mets on April 24 in the Bronx and got the win, hurling 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball. He is 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA in eight career Interleague starts.
Mets: Another rookie will take the mound when the Mets and Yankees continue their Subway Series at Citi Field. This time it will be right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who is quietly 2-0 with a 3.82 ERA over his last five starts.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.