“I’m excited about the win today, I’m excited about the home run. I’m having fun.”
FINAL SCORE: Yankees 6, Mets 4
The Yankees (11-8) claimed this leg of the Subway Series as Alex Rodriguez hit career homer No. 659 and drove in two runs, helping the Bombers take two of three games from the visiting Mets.
Rodriguez’s first-inning homer off Jonathon Niese moved him within one of tying Willie Mays (660) for fourth place on the all-time list.
“I’ve said it a lot: Willie was my father’s favorite player,” Rodriguez said. “He’s one of my heroes. I’m excited about the win today, I’m excited about the home run. I’m having fun.”
Mets manager Terry Collins said that he was impressed by Rodriguez’s homer, which came on a 2-2 Niese curveball and struck the top of the fence before landing in the Yankees’ bullpen.
“The home run to right-center? That’s how you know he’s dangerous,” Collins said. “When you can still do that at his age — like he said the other night to me, I’ve known him for a long time, he said, ‘I’m humbled to be back playing. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.’ And he’s going to show people that he is a great player.”
The bullpen fired 4 2/3 scoreless innings behind Nathan Eovaldi, as Chasen Shreve picked up his first big league victory and Andrew Miller recorded his seventh save in as many opportunities.
“We just feed off each other,” Shreve said. “Chris Martin came in tonight and helped me out, and I helped Nathan out. It’s one of those things where you pick each other up.”
Eovaldi lasted just 4 1/3 innings, permitting four earned runs and seven hits. He struck out six, but served up a leadoff homer to Curtis Granderson and endured plenty of loud contact.
“We were scoring runs early and it’s frustrating having to go to the bullpen so early, that I couldn’t go further in the game,” Eovaldi said. “But the bullpen has been awesome.”
The Yankees have won three consecutive series, having swept the Rays in St. Petersburg, taking three of four from the Tigers and now beating the Mets in two of three.
“Our goal is to win series, and we’ve done that in the last three,” Rodriguez said. “It’s especially sweet in the Subway Series, to win the series, and especially against a team that’s playing so well.”
“I don’t have a marketing degree, so I’m just focusing on playing baseball.” – Alex Rodriguez, on how homer No. 660 will be celebrated.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 27, 2015
This and that…
- Jacoby Ellsbury (hip) might have been available to play tonight if the game had gone to extra innings, but since it didn’t, Girardi said that he never asked. The Yankees hope to have him back in the lineup tomorrow.
- The Yankees had four doubles in the second inning, the first time they’ve done that since the first inning of a 7-4 win vs. Baltimore on May 21, 2009 (Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira and Melky Cabrera).
- Jose Pirela (concussion) began a Minor League rehab assignment with Class-A Tampa at Clearwater on Sunday, playing the entire game at DH and going 0-for-4 with a run scored.
- Granderson has 67 home runs at new Yankee Stadium, third in the history of the building. He trails Teixeira (94) and Cano (79).
Up next: Adam Warren will make his fourth start of the season on Monday as the Yankees open a three-game series with the Rays at Yankee Stadium, having swept Tampa Bay in a three-game set earlier this month. Right-hander Nate Karns draws the start for the Rays in the 7:05 p.m. ET contest.