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Mets 5 @ Yankees 11

Friday June 28, 2002

Mussina W11-3 | 5IP | 7H | 5ER | 0BB | 3K | 4.72ERA

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Mets won the home-run derby. Jorge Posada and the New York Yankees won the game.

Posada connected from both sides of the plate to drive in five runs and Robin Ventura knocked in four against his former team as the Yankees beat the Mets 11-5 Friday night.

Yet for all the big hits, Orlando Hernandez provided the biggest lift for the Yankees. Fresh off the disabled list from a bad back, he came in with an 8-5 edge and pitched four scoreless innings for his first career save.

"El Duque restored order,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Hernandez, who will soon rejoin the rotation, seemed enthused about his outing. He kept the ball from his save, and then even did a rare interview in English.

"I know the question,'' he said. "I feel good. I feel fine. I'm very happy to come back to the team. It was a good night.''

With Mike Piazza having another run-in at Yankee Stadium -- literally -- the Yankees evened the Subway Series at 2-all.

As lightning crackled beyond the center-field fence and a sellout crowd of 55,739 chanted, the city rivals combined for five homers in the first five innings.

Mo Vaughn hit a cannon shot -- off the Canon copier sign -- and Roger Cedeno and Timo Perez also connected for the Mets. But those homers produced only four runs, and Posada bettered that.

Posada had been in a 6-for-39 rut before breaking loose.

"I just got two balls in the air,'' he said. "I love playing here. I see the ball really well. There's something about playing here.''

Ventura hit a two-run double and had a pair of sacrifice flies. He has 19 homers and 57 RBI this season after having only 21 home runs and 61 RBIs for the Mets all of last year.

Ventura played down any extra satisfaction from beating the Mets.

"I love to do this against anybody,'' he said.

Mike Mussina (11-3) struggled again, yet lasted five innings for the win. He improved to 4-0 lifetime against the Mets.

Hernandez retired his first seven batters before Piazza reached. With one out in the eighth, the Mets star hit a soft liner to first baseman Nick Johnson, who let the ball bounce and then mishandled it for an error.

Piazza was running hard down the line and knocked left knees with Johnson as he crossed the bag. Piazza tumbled while Johnson stayed on his feet, bringing Mets manager Bobby Valentine and a trainer from the dugout.

Piazza stayed in the game -- he and Johnson were both a bit sore later -- and there were no problems, unlike in the past. Piazza was beaned by Roger Clemens at Yankee Stadium in the 2000 regular season, and had the Yankees pitcher throw the barrel of a broken bat in his direction during the World Series that fall.

Jeff D'Amico (4-7) was tagged for seven runs in four-plus innings. He's 0-3 in his last six starts.

"The good pitches are getting hit, and the bad pitches are getting hit even further,'' he said. "This is, by far, the worst month I've had -- ever.''

Posada hit a three-run homer left-handed to cap a five-run burst in the third that made it 6-1. He hit a two-run shot right-handed in the fifth off Bobby Jones that made it 8-5.

Posada has homered from both sides four times in his career.

Cedeno hit a solo homer in the third, Vaughn had a two-run drive in the fourth and Perez hit a solo homer in the fifth to pull the Mets to 6-5.

Vaughn's wild throw from first base helped the Yankees score twice in the sixth. Mets reliever Jaime Cerda made his major league debut with the bases loaded, one out and the music blaring, and retired all five batters he faced.

Cerda is from Fresno, Calif., the same hometown as Mets Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. After the game, Seaver, now a Mets broadcaster, walked into the clubhouse and shook Cerda's hand.

"Congratulations,'' Seaver said. "Good job.''

Game notes
After the game, the Yankees put LHP Sterling Hitchcock back on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained lower back. LHP Randy Choate was recalled from Triple-A Columbus. ... The Yankees are 17-11 in interleague play against the Mets. The Yankees also beat them in the 2000 World Series. ... Karim Garcia, promoted this week from Triple-A Columbus, got his first hit and scored his first run for the Yankees. ... Yankees OF Shane Spencer has a sprained left wrist. He jammed his left hand making a catch this week in Baltimore and is day-to-day. ... Clemens is not scheduled to face the Mets in this series. ... Yankees INF Ron Coomer was not at the ballpark while recovering from muscle spasms and a pinched nerve in his neck. The Yankees hope he'll be OK to play by Sunday night.


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