Mets 7, Yankees 6


NEW YORK (AP) – David Wright won the first Subway Series game of the year between two New York teams that limped into their annual, highly charged matchup.

Wright hit an RBI single off Mariano Rivera with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mets a thrilling 7-6 victory Friday night.

On a night when Yankees starter Randy Johnson struggled yet again, allowing home runs to Carlos Beltran and Xavier Nady, Mets starter Jeremi Gonzalez got just nine outs.

But Darren Oliver, Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner (3-0) combined for six innings of shutout, two-hit relief, retiring the Yankees’ final 16 batters. Wagner struck out Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez and Kelly Stinnett in the ninth on 12 pitches.

While the NL East-leading Mets played Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” when Wagner came in, they didn’t play it three outs later when Rivera (1-3) entered – it’s also his theme song.

One pitch after hitting the dirt when Rivera came inside, Paul Lo Duca doubled down the left-field line to put a runner on second with one out.

Beltran struck out on three pitches, Carlos Delgado was intentionally walked and Wright drove a pitch to the warning track over Johnny Damon in center.

Before the game, Yankees manager Joe Torre revealed pitcher Carl Pavano needs surgery to remove a bone chip above his right elbow, discussed reliever Tanyon Sturtze’s upcoming rotator cuff surgery, outfielder Bubba Crosby’s strained right hamstring and the start of right fielder Gary Sheffield’s rehabilitation from a wrist injury.

Mets manager Willie Randolph talked about pitcher Brian Bannister’s injured right hamstring, and a starting rotation that is struggling beyond Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine and Steve Trachsel because of several injuries.

Johnson batted before he threw a pitch and was staked to a 4-0 lead in the first, but he allowed a three-run homer to Beltran on a 95 mph fastball in the bottom half. Then, with the Yankees ahead 5-3, he gave up a two-run homer in the third to Nady on a 94 mph fastball.

After Stinnett put the Yankees ahead 6-5 with an RBI single in the fourth, Johnson allowed a tying single to Kaz Matsui in the fifth.

Johnson, who gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings, has allowed four runs or more in five straight starts for the first time in his major league career, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The ERA of the 42-year-old left-hander is up to 5.62.

Gonzalez was just as bad, lasted just three-plus innings and was booed loudly by the sellout crowd of 56,289. Like Johnson, he allowed his first four batters to reach, and he got lucky when Rodriguez was called out trying to stretch an RBI single into a double – replays showed Rodriguez got to the bag before the tag and second base umpire Tom Hallion blew the call.

Run-scoring singles by Derek Jeter and Rodriguez, and RBI doubles by Robinson Cano and Bernie Williams built the 4-0 lead. The inning ended when Gonzalez struck out Johnson.

After Robinson Cano hit a sacrifice fly in the third, the Big Unit had a two-out, infield single that loaded the bases – a ball that shortstop Jose Reyes knocked down with a dive and prevented from becoming an RBI single.

Damon followed with an inning-ending flyout, and the Yankees left the bases loaded again in the fourth when Melky Cabrera grounded out.

Notes: Yankees C Jorge Posada left after 11/2 innings with tightness in his upper back. Posada was hit hard Tuesday by the Texas Rangers’ Mark Teixeira in a home plate collision. … Jeter’s fourth-inning double was his 200th hit in regular-season interleague play. … Williams hit his 425th double, passing Babe Ruth for sole possession of third place among Yankees.

AP-ES-05-19-06 2227EDT