Yankees fall to Mets in Subway Series opener
Take that Brett Gardner.
Murphy had the go-ahead hit in the eighth after being denied a homer by Gardner two innings earlier, and the New York Mets rallied to beat the rival Yankees 2-1 Monday night for their second straight home win after losing eight in a row.
''I was fairly angry after he took that from us,'' Murphy said.
David Wright hit his first home run at Citi Field this year leading off the seventh. Murphy came through against David Robertson (3-1) to hand the Yankees their first loss in 23 games when leading after six innings.
Murphy's drive to left-center in the sixth was caught above the wall by Gardner to end the inning. The Yankees also threw out a runner at home plate in the eighth just before Murphy singled to center field.
Brandon Lyon (2-2) pitched a scoreless eighth in relief of an impressive Jonathon Niese.
Bobby Parnell pitched the ninth for his eighth save. His first save against the Yankees was a coming of age of sorts in manager Terry Collins opinion.
''If you're going to pitch in this city and you're going to be a closer in this city you've got to pitch in big, big-time situations,'' Collins said. ''This isn't a playoff game but this is the Subway Series and this means a lot to a lot of people.''
With the Mets entering at 11 games under .500 and the Yankees playing without several of their injured All-Stars, the Subway Series seemed to have lost much of its luster. There were plenty of empty seats throughout Citi Field and the 32,911 fans were awfully quiet for a game between these clubs.
That could change come Tuesday night, when the Mets send young ace Matt Harvey to the mound against the Yankees' most consistent starter, Hiroki Kuroda, in the second of four straight games between the teams.
''We Harv going tomorrow, it provides us some momentum,'' Wright said. ''If we're going to climb our way back into the thing and start heading towards .500 we're going to have to win these close games ... hopefully we can ride this momentum into tomorrow with Matt's start.''
Niese and Phil Hughes showed they could be pretty good, too. Both pitchers are having inconsistent seasons but they worked quickly into the sixth inning, with the game scoreless.
The Yankees took the lead in the sixth when left fielder Lucas Duda came up short on a diving attempt at Gardner's opposite-field liner. The ball scooted past Duda and Gardner raced into third base with a triple. Jayson Nix followed with a single that dropped just in front of charging right fielder Mike Baxter for a 1-0 lead.
Gardner got off to a tough start Monday in the oddly angled center field. He took his eye off Wright's drive to check for the section of the wall in front of the Mets bullpen that is a chain link fence, and it went for a first-inning triple.
There was no looking back the next time.
With Niese on first after his second single of the night, Murphy sent a fly that Gardner tracked to the wall. He jumped in front of the 385-foot marker and caught the ball above the fence.
''I didn't think it was hit as good as it showed,'' Gardner said. ''I didn't realize it was going out.''
Niese got Gardner to ground out with runners on second and third to end a threat in the seventh.
Wright fell behind 0-2 leading off the seventh before hitting a full-count pitch into the left-center stands for his seventh homer.
''One of the big things is what David was able to do because the air could've been taken out of us,'' Murphy said of Wright's homer coming an inning after Murphy lost his to Gardner's catch.
Baxter doubled with one out in the eighth, pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin walked and they moved up on Chris Stewart's passed ball.
With the infield playing in, Ruben Tejada hit a grounder to second baseman Robinson Cano, who snapped a throw home. Stewart made a sweep tag on Baxter's back as he tried to reach his hand out to touch the plate. With two outs, Murphy followed with a single.
''I did a terrible job. I didn't have command of anything,'' Robertson said. ''I kept getting behind in the count, I couldn't throw any first pitch strikes. It was really tough, frustrating.''
Niese allowed eight hits and one run in seven innings. Hughes pitched seven, too, yielding one run and four hits in seven. He struck out six and walked none.
NOTES: Wright has two homers against Hughes in 12 at-bats. ... Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain (right oblique strain) said he should be activated from the DL on Tuesday. ... Yankees LHP Francisco Rondon, designated for assignment on Friday, has been sent outright to Double-A Trenton. ... The Mets will honor Yankees closer Mariano Rivera before Tuesday's game. ... The Mets improved to 7-8 in one-run games.
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