Gardner's slam overshadowed by resilient Mets
Bullpen loses late lead as Yanks drop fifth straight game to rivals
NEW YORK -- The preferred form of payment has switched from tokens to MetroCards, but as the Subway Series ventures deeper into its second decade of service, this intracity rivalry still packs a punch. On this night, it was too much and too late for the Yankees.
Power was in play as the New York clubs locked up for the first time this season, with the Mets gleefully taking advantage of Yankee Stadium's cozy dimensions. Chris Young's two-run shot in the eighth stood as the difference, propelling the visitors to a 9-7 victory.
Travis d'Arnaud, Curtis Granderson and Eric Young Jr. also homered for the Mets, who scored five unanswered runs over the last three innings against a road-weary Yankees bullpen, relegating Brett Gardner's second-inning grand slam to a footnote.
"Our bullpen's been good; they've pitched good for us all year," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. "Yeah, we would have liked to have won this game, especially having a lead late. Those guys battled back and we just didn't score enough runs, but our bullpen has been pretty good."
The Yankees threatened in the ninth, putting runners on the corners with one out against Kyle Farnsworth, but Brian McCann's sharp grounder to first was corralled by Lucas Duda, who threw to second for one out and retreated to the bag to catch David Wright's throw for the final out.
McCann wore a look of exasperation on his face after he had chugged down the first-base line on the twin killing, having missed a prime opportunity for an indelible addition to Subway Series lore.
"It comes and goes," McCann said. "The results aren't there. This is a result-oriented business, and I'm not getting it done."
The Yankees have lost their last five meetings with the Mets, and this one came at a price. Outfielder Carlos Beltran hyperextended his right elbow while hitting in the batting cage during the game and was sent for an MRI exam; manager Joe Girardi also revealed that the Yankees were operating without Ichiro Suzuki and Shawn Kelley, both of whom are nursing stiff backs.
"It seems like this year it's our pitchers instead of our position players," Girardi said. "They seemed to catch up pretty quick in one day."
Despite that, the Yankees held a 7-4 lead after the sixth, an advantage that Eric Young dented with a two-run homer off Alfredo Aceves in the seventh. The Mets tied the game in the eighth off Matt Thornton, as Eric Campbell ripped a pinch-hit double and slid home safely on Duda's broken-bat single to center field.
"You know in this ballpark the game's never over," Wright said. "There's no lead that's safe here, so you have to score. You have to score often, especially against an offense like that that has so many good left-handed hitters."
Chris Young's go-ahead shot off Preston Claiborne cleared the left-field wall, the underbelly of the Yankees bullpen proving vulnerable.
"Obviously, we put up the offensive numbers tonight to win this game easily," Claiborne said. "Myself included, we didn't execute and it cost us. It swung the momentum their way."
In addition to Kelley, Girardi was operating without Dellin Betances and Adam Warren, who were unavailable due to heavy use. Girardi said that he would have called upon David Robertson for a four-out save if Thornton had retired Duda, but it didn't happen.
"We didn't have some guys that we usually use in those times," Girardi said. "We asked some other guys to do something, and they weren't able to get it done."
The Yankees thumped Bartolo Colon for seven runs (six earned) and 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings, starting their barrage as Gardner launched his second career grand slam, coming with McCann, Alfonso Soriano and Yangervis Solarte on the basepaths.
Colon, who revived his stalled career on this side of town back in 2011, settled down long enough for Granderson to slug a game-tying two-run homer off Hiroki Kuroda in the sixth, spoiling what was otherwise a decent outing for the Yankees right-hander.
"I was trying to hang in there, but that sixth inning is something I should have avoided," Kuroda said through an interpreter.
The Yankees produced three runs in the home half of the sixth, reclaiming the lead. Soriano -- who became the seventh player to collect 1,000 hits in both the American and National Leagues -- laced a one-out double and scored on Solarte's line-drive single, putting the Yankees ahead. It was Solarte's team-leading 21st RBI.
Kelly Johnson followed with a run-scoring triple to left-center field. Colon was lifted with two outs in favor of Carlos Torres, and the catcher, d'Arnaud, airmailed a throw to center field with Gardner stealing second. Brian Roberts trotted home with the Yanks' seventh run -- normally, what should have been enough to hold up for a 'W.' Not this time.
"We're very resilient. We always have been," Claiborne said. "We're the Yankees. We're going to get it together, and we're going to get rolling here quick."