NEW YORK (AP) — Eduardo Escobar crossed the plate and gloated back to the Mets bullpen after his two-run homer capped a four-run inning in the first inning — a move by a fan behind the outfield fence the left caught the one- delivered with a jump.
Most of Citi Field was dancing by the time Edwin Díaz hit a two-run homer off Gleyber Torres, ending the Mets’ 6-3 victory over the Yankees in a rare Tuesday night Subway Series game between the teams in the country first.
“It was honestly like a World Series home run,” Escobar said through a translator. “I have never played in such an environment.”
Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo quieted many of the 42,364 fans with opposite-field home runs on back-to-back pitches in the first inning by Taijuan Walker (8-2).
But the Mets struck right back in the bottom when Starling Marte singled against Jordan Montgomery (3-3). Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso followed with doubles, and Escobar’s two-run, two-out homer put the Mets up 4-2. The ball was caught with open hands by a fan in a Mets jersey and Yankees hat.
The Mets held on for a win just shy of their third home sellout of the year, what they hoped would be a World Series test. The two teams were in first place when they met just one season ago, a three-game series from April 24-26, 2015, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“If we play each other in November, that would be fantastic. Alonso said before the match. “If that happens, the city will just be on fire.”
Two of baseball’s great hitters went head to head. Judge’s 38th major league home run gave him 82 RBI, tied for the major league lead. Alonso stepped up again in the bottom of the 83rd and went 3-for-3 with a walk.
The Yankees went a league-best 66-31 with a 12 1/2-game AL East lead. The Mets had the National League’s second-best mark at 59-37 and a two-game NL East lead over Atlanta.
Walker improved to 5-0 in his last eight starts, allowing three runs and seven hits in six innings.
“It was electric,” Walker said.
Montgomery, 0-2 in his last seven starts, allowed five runs — four earned — and five hits. He needed 71 pitches in seven outings, and when Boone came to the mound to relieve him, he stared at his manager and said, “Why?”
“I wanted to be out there” Montgomery said. “Of course, I had to back off.”
The Yankees went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and were hurt when Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled at third and Rizzo was caught at second on a double steal attempt in the seventh.
After former Met and Yankee Darryl Strawberry threw out a ceremonial first pitch, Judge and Rizzo combined for the Yankees’ 14th home run. They tied the team record set in 2009 and Rizzo ended a 14-game hitting streak, his 23rd this season.
Walker had not previously allowed a home run at Citi Field this year
The Mets opened up a 5-2 lead in the third when third baseman Josh Donaldson hit Lindor with a throw near first base and the ball went into right field as Marte scored from second.
DJ LeMahieu had an RBI grounder in the fourth when Rizzo blocked the bases loaded with a flyout to Brandon Nimmo one step past the center field wall.
Jeff McNeil finished an 0-for-19 game with a single off Albert Abreu in the eighth.
After Adam Ottavino got five outs, Díaz started the crowd with his intro music of Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet’s “narco” — Mr. Met played a trumpet and many fans imitated a trumpet with their water bottles.
Díaz pinch hit Joey Gallo to strand a runner in the eighth, then induced LeMahieu, Rizzo and Torres around a hit and an error in the ninth, picking up his 22nd save in 25 chances.
“I’ve never pitched in a major league playoff game, but if I had to guess, that would be it.” Alonso said. “Looking to change that this year.”
Mets manager Buck Showalter on the 3-hour, 27-minute game: “That’s great for us – 4 is the old 3.” … When asked if he would have let Ottavino face Kiner-Falefa if Gallo hadn’t hit the pitch, Showalter wondered if he should answer and was reminded that reporters don’t have call power. “In today’s world, that doesn’t mean telling the truth anymore – ever.” Showalter said.
CANHA – LIKE BANANAS
Wearing an ESPN microphone during Sunday night’s game, Mets shortstop Mark Canha said his last name should probably be spelled “Khan-ya” since he is of Portuguese origin. Not so, said his wife, Marci.
“Don’t get me wrong, if we were to move to Lisbon tomorrow, then yes, we would pronounce it the way ‘NH’ is properly pronounced in Portuguese.” she posted on Twitter. “Until then, it rhymes with banana.”
Yankees: OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton was placed on the 10-day IL because of left Achilles tendinitis, a move retroactive to Sunday.
RHP Domingo Germán (0-1, 15.00 ERA) starts for the Yankees after allowing five runs over three innings at Houston in his season debut. RHP Max Scherzer (6-2, 2.28) is 1-1 with a 1.78 ERA since returning from a strained left oblique muscle.