NEW YORK – No dropped pop-ups this time. Just a little Fernandomania and a crisp performance for the New York Mets.
Injury fill-in Fernando Nieve earned his first major league victory in three years, Omir Santos drove in three runs and the Mets rebounded from a heartbreaking loss with a 6-2 win over the Yankees on Saturday.
“We just forget about what happened yesterday,” Santos said. “It was a tough game, but you have to bounce back today and have a good game like this.”
The Mets lost the Subway Series opener 9-8 Friday night at Yankee Stadium when second baseman Luis Castillo dropped Alex Rodriguez’s two-out pop-up in the ninth, allowing two runs to score.
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Castillo came back with two hits and was flawless in the field on a soggy day in the Bronx.
“A big game for us, a big win for us,” Castillo said. “We win this game today and we feel better.”
Gary Sheffield homered for the second straight day against his former team, and Santos hit a two-run shot off Andy Pettitte.
Rodriguez hit career homer No. 562 and Derek Jeter had an RBI infield single for the Yankees, who have lost four of five. A-Rod is one shy of Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson for 11th place on the all-time list.
“We did not swing the bats,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We had only two hits through six innings and you can’t win very many games that way.”
Nieve (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits over 62/3 innings in his first major league start in three years – highlighting a strong performance by the Mets’ three Fernandos. Rookie Fernando Martinez collected a season-high three hits, and Fernando Tatis scored twice and drove in a run.
The Mets finished with a season-high with 17 hits and did not commit an error in one of their tightest all-around games of the year.
“I sensed there was an urgency to play well,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “Obviously, the way the game ended last night, we all know to a man how difficult it’s been for Luis, and for him to go through it, I think to a man they felt an urgency to play well.”