Granderson and Mets rough up Yankees again, 12-7
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By HOWIE RUMBERG
NEW YORK (AP) Daniel Murphy stood in the batter's box, twisting his body as if he were directing the flight of his soaring drive down the right field line.
The way the New York Mets were hitting balls all over Yankee Stadium the past two nights, it was hard to blame him for thinking he still had some control over where that one might end up.
With a full moon hanging over the right field stands, Murphy's shot struck high off the foul pole for a three-run homer Tuesday that highlighted the Mets' 12-7 victory over fill-in starter Vidal Nuno and the Yankees.
"Man, I didn't know if it was going to stay or not. I wasn't trying to pimp it. I was giving it some body English," Murphy said. "It's always nice to get rewarded for a good swing."
Curtis Granderson also hit a three-run shot, connecting for the second consecutive night in his old ballpark, and the Mets won both Subway Series games in the Bronx. He helped his new team jump out to a quick lead after the Mets used four homers to rally for a 9-7 victory the night before.
In all, the Mets hit six homers in the two games - they had 13 in their first 19 games at Citi Field - and were excited to see how their resurgent bats will do at their spacious home several miles away.
"It's nice to come here and feel good about yourself offensively, scoring some runs, hitting some homers," captain David Wright said. "Hopefully that translates and gives us some momentum going back home."
Wright had three hits and two RBIs, and Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0) pitched 3 2-3 innings in relief of a wild Zack Wheeler as the Mets earned their sixth straight win their crosstown rivals, including a 4-0 mark last year.
Eric Young Jr. scored three runs without a hit, and the Mets won their third in a row overall to return to .500 after losing eight of nine. The banged-up Yankees learned right fielder Carlos Beltran has a bone spur in his right elbow that might require surgery, then lost their fourth in a row to drop to .500 for the first time since April 12. Both teams are 19-19.
"We've got to start playing better and pitching better and doing everything more consistently. We've got to go out and win a game tomorrow," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "A lot of times that changes the mood."
The Subway Series shifts to Queens for the final two games, and Mets fans have several reasons to be excited. Pitching prospect Rafael Montero will make his big league debut Wednesday night against high-priced Yankees rookie Masahiro Tanaka.
This one lacked the frothy back and forth of the large crowd in the opener, and perhaps the biggest cheer of the night from the 45,958 in attendance came when the final score of the New York Rangers' Game 7 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins was flashed on the scoreboard before the bottom of the sixth.
By then, the Mets had taken an 11-5 lead and both starters were long gone in a game that eventually lasted 3 hours, 58 minutes. A frustrated Girardi followed soon after, ejected for arguing a third-strike call on Kelly Johnson that ended the fifth.
The Mets took advantage of a sloppy Nuno (1-1) at the start. Young was hit by a pitch, Murphy walked on 10 pitches, Wright had an RBI single and, one out later, Granderson hit his fourth homer in 11 games. He had one in his first 26 games with the Mets.
"The guys are just having a good time out there," Young said.
Brian McCann hit a two-run homer in the bottom half as the Yankees pulled to 4-3, but the Mets soon pulled away for good.
Third baseman Yangervis Solarte's errant throw to second while trying to start a double play led to two unearned runs in the fourth. Nuno was chased after Murphy's sacrifice fly. Wright greeted Alfredo Aceves with an RBI single to make it 7-3.
Wheeler lasted 4 1-3 innings for the Mets, throwing a career-high 118 pitches and matching a career worst with six walks.
"He just didn't have any consistent release point, and feel for where the ball is going," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Making his fifth start in place of Ivan Nova, out for the season following Tommy John surgery, Nuno gave up seven runs - five earned - on four hits, four walks and a hit batter.
NOTES: Babe Ruth's Hall of Fame plaque was displayed behind home plate during batting practice. It was the plaque's first time being displayed outside of Cooperstown, the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. ... Girardi said RHP Chase Whitley will be called up from the minors to start Thursday in place of injured CC Sabathia (knee) ... McCann ended Wheeler's streak of 28 1-3 innings without allowing a long ball.
Updated May 14, 2014