Yankees belt four homers, batter Santana and Mets 9-1


The New York Yankees made quick work of denying New York Mets starter Johan Santana’s bid for a duplicate effort of last Friday’s no-hitter. Robinson Cano hit two, two-run homers, including the first of three in a row. Hiroki Kuroda was again fantastic, flirting with a no-no of his own as the Yankees blasted the Mets 9-1 in the first game of the Subway Series.

There is plenty of talk going back and forth during these series and this one is no different, especially as both teams entered last night’s game within earshot of first-place. There was the added dimension of Santana’s first start since tossing 134 pitches in the no-hitter.

Santana sailed through the first but then the Yankee put on a power display off the veteran left-hander. In the bottom of the second Alex Rodriguez walked, and then Cano drilled an 88-mph fastball deep into the right field bleachers giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Santana wiggled out of two-out trouble with men at second and third to finish the inning. It was easy to see that Santana was a much different pitcher than last Friday.

The power onslaught continued in grand fashion in the Yankees’ third. Rodriguez singled with two outs and Cano swatted a slider over the outside of the plate into the second deck in right field. Nick Swisher was next and he launched a bomb deep into the lower level in left field. Andruw Jones finished off the trifecta with a middle-deck shot to left field propelling the Yankees to a 6-0 lead.

Kuroda was spectacular and began to develop his own storyline as the game progressed. With a six run lead it was easy see that Kuroda was relaxed after not receiving much run support in his previous outings. He cruised through the Mets lineup facing the minimum number of batters through five innings. Through five, the Mets had only on base-runner, Josh Thole, who reached on an error by Derek Jeter, was erased on the next play as David Wright bounced into a 5-4-3 double play.

Kuroda’s no-hit bid came to an end with two outs in the sixth as Omar Quintanilla doubled to left. Kuroda worked a scoreless seventh, but the last batter, Daniel Murphy, lined a ball off Kuroda’s foot and into Rodriguez’s glove. Kuroda would not return in the eighth and was diagnosed with a bruised left foot. He is considered day-to-day at the moment.

The Yankees tacked on three more runs in the seventh inning with Rodriguez, Swisher and Jones getting RBIs. The Mets ended the shutout with one out in the ninth as Lucas Duda doubled off ex-teammate Ryota Igarashi, making his Yankees debut, scoring Quintanilla.

The win moved the Yankees (32-25) to a season high seven games over .500 and kept them a half-game out of first place in the AL East behind the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yanks are now in second place, one-half game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles who lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Yankees send Phil Hughes (5-5, 4.96 ERA) to the mound tonight to try and build off the complete game he tossed against the Detroit Tigers in his last outing. The Mets counter with Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.48 ERA).