A-Rod hits No. 659, Yanks beat Mets 6-4 to win Subway Series
NEW YORK (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez hit his 659th home run to move within one of Willie Mays for fourth place on the career list, and the New York Yankees took advantage of one mistake after another by the suddenly sloppy New York Mets in a 6-4 victory Sunday night.
After falling behind early, the Yankees scored four times in the second inning off Jonathon Niese and took two of three in the first Subway Series of the season.
The crosstown rivals meet again at Citi Field in September.
Rodriguez connected in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. He drove a 2-2 curve from Niese (2-1) to right-center, with the ball bouncing off the top of the fence for a solo shot.
It was the fifth homer of the season for A-Rod, who sat out last year while serving a drug suspension.
Rodriguez's first chance to match Mays came in the second, when the longtime slugger doubled to left field. He also grounded into a forceout and lined out to left field.
The Yankees have won five of six and eight of 10 after a 3-6 start.
Five relievers combined to throw 4 2-3 hitless innings for the Yankees. Chasen Shreve (1-0) earned his first major league win by getting cleanup batter Michael Cuddyer to ground into an inning-ending double play with two on in the fifth.
Chris Martin got five outs, Dellin Betances struck out three in the eighth and Andrew Miller closed for his seventh save.
Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff homer for the Mets, and slumping Daniel Murphy had a pair of RBI doubles off Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi.
But an error by Murphy at second base set up the Yankees' sixth run, and Rodriguez was handed an RBI on the next play when shortstop Wilmer Flores fired high into the photographer's well behind first base, squandering what should have been an easy double play.
In the next inning, Eric Campbell forgot how many outs there were and was doubled off first base on a routine fly to right.
Campbell also committed an error at third base, and Cuddyer made one in left field that cost the Mets a run. It was an uncharacteristic performance this season by a surprising team that owns the top record in the majors at 14-5.
Rodriguez's homer pulled the Yankees to 2-1, and they hit four doubles off Niese in the second to build a 5-2 lead.
Gregorio Petit and Brett Gardner each doubled home a run. Chris Young beat the defensive shift with an RBI single through the right side.
Niese allowed six runs - four earned - and eight hits in five innings. He had yielded no more than two earned runs in seven consecutive starts dating to last season.
Mets: Injured 3B David Wright (strained right hamstring) was on his way to the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, to begin baseball activities Monday for the first time since he got hurt April 14. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday, but manager Terry Collins said he didn't think that would be realistic. "I think if he's back here by Saturday would be really good," Collins said.
Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury sat out with a tender hip. Young started in center for the second time this season, and Gardner moved up one spot to bat leadoff in Ellsbury's place. ... Manager Joe Girardi said he thinks reserve SS-2B Brendan Ryan (strained right calf) is scheduled to begin playing games in extended spring training next week.
Mets: After two weeks at home in New York City, the Mets head to Miami for a three-game series. Dillon Gee (0-1) gets the ball Monday night against the NL East rival Marlins, who have won five straight. They were swept by the Mets in four games at Citi Field earlier this month.
Yankees: RHP Adam Warren (1-1) starts Monday night at Yankee Stadium in the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay. RHP Nate Karns (1-1) pitches for the Rays.