a hug in the visiting clubhouse. A-Rod had just hit his 564th home run, moving past Mr. October into 11th place on the career
''Reggie's a close friend and a mentor,'' Rodriguez said after his two-run drive helped the Yankees beat the Mets 9-1 Friday
night in the first Subway Series game at Citi Field. ''Reggie is an American icon.''
CC Sabathia (7-4) bounced back from biceps tightness to stifle the Mets on three hits over seven innings as the Yankees won
their third straight after losing five of six.
Fill-in leadoff batter
raised his average 22 points to .303 with a career-high five hits, including his third homer of the season and a triple.
had two doubles and a single as a late replacement in the starting lineup for flu-stricken
, sidelined by a cough and a fever.
And this time, the Mets didn't wait until the last play of the game to be done in by their defense against the Yankees.
Errors by third baseman
and first baseman
helped the Yankees to a 4-0 second-inning lead, and they beat their crosstown rival for the third time in four meetings this
''There was a point there, I started laughing,'' said
(5-3), who dropped to 1-3 in his last nine starts. ''You want the ball to get hit to those guys. They make great plays all
the time. That was just weird.''
Rodriguez made it 7-1 in the eighth off Elmer Dessen with his 11th homer this season, the first opposite-field drive at Citi
Field by a right-handed hitter. Before connecting at Atlanta's Turner Field on Thursday, Rodriguez hadn't hit one on the road
since his first swing this season, on May 8 at Baltimore.
Actress Kate Hudson, who has attended some of A-Rod's recent games, looked on as the ball landed in the right-center field
bullpens - Rodriguez even got the ball back. It's been a tumultuous year for A-Rod, who in February admitted using steroids
from 2001-3, then had hip surgery and missed the first month.
''The negativity that surrounds the steroids is certainly not something that I carry over to him,'' Jackson said. ''I do appreciate
the fact that he admitted his mistakes, so from here we move forward. Judgment on him will be passed with the next 7 1/2 years
of his time with the Yankees.''
Jackson was sixth when he retired in 1987, trailing only
. He's since been passed by
, Ken Griffey Jr.,
''You get used to it really,'' Jackson said.
The Mets drew their second straight sellout, a Citi Field record crowd of 41,278. After selling out the opener, the Mets fell
short for 34 consecutive games before a discount-assisted full house Thursday afternoon against St. Louis.
Fans got to see the Mets' first three-error inning in five years, and Sabathia was the beneficiary. He left Sunday's start
at Florida after 1 1-3 innings because of tightness in his left biceps.
His arm appeared to be fine Friday, with the stadium radar clocking him at up to 98 mph, and he started 18 of 24 batters with
strikes. He retired his first 12 batters, struck out eight and walked one.
''When he's like that, you're not going to score many runs,'' Wright said.
Pelfrey allowed four runs - two earned - and six hits in five innings. The Mets, who remained one-half game behind NL East-leading
Philadelphia, had all their hits in the fifth.
, who had missed four games with a bad knee, returned from a cortisone shot and led off with his 508th homer. With two on
and one out, Sabathia struck out
''Nothing was going right. But we had a shot to get back in the game,'' Sheffield said. ''When you get that one shot, that's
when you have to bear down.''
Pena hit an RBI double in the second and scored on a single by Sabathia, his 14th career RBI. Then came the fielding follies.
Exactly two weeks earlier in the first Subway Series at new Yankee Stadium, second baseman
dropped what would have been a game-ending popup by Rodriguez, allowing two runs to score and giving the Yankees a shocking
''We played a bad game. It was just one of those nights,'' Mets manager
said. ''I think probably some of it is due because of the amount of players that we have missing.''
NOTES: New York Knicks draft pick Jordan Hill threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... The Mets had a three-error ninth in
an 11-4 loss to St. Louis on May 20, 2004: 1B
, SS Kaz Matsui and 3B