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Yankees Ride Posada to Subway Series Victory

Baseball: Catcher has two homers and five RBIs, and Hernandez returns to close out 11-5 win over the Mets.

June 29, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — The New York Mets won the home-run derby. Catcher Jorge Posada and the New York Yankees won the game.

Posada connected from both sides of the plate to drive in five runs and Robin Ventura knocked in four against his former team as the Yankees defeated the Mets, 11-5, Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

Yet for all the big hits, Orlando Hernandez provided the biggest lift for the Yankees. Fresh off the disabled list from a bad back, he came in with an 8-5 lead and pitched four scoreless innings for his first career save.

"El Duque restored order," Yankee Manager Joe Torre said.

Hernandez, who will soon rejoin the rotation, seemed enthused about his outing. He kept the ball from his save and did a rare interview in English.

"I know the question," he said. "I feel good. I feel fine. I'm very happy to come back to the team. It was a good night."

As lightning crackled beyond the center-field fence and a sellout crowd of 55,739 chanted, the city rivals combined for five homers in the first five innings.

Mo Vaughn hit one--off the Canon copier sign--and Roger Cedeno and Timo Perez also connected for the Mets. But those homers produced only four runs, and Posada bettered that.

Posada had been in a six-for-39 rut before breaking loose.

Ventura hit a two-run double and had two sacrifice flies. He has 19 homers and 57 runs batted in after having only 21 home runs and 61 RBIs for the Mets all of last year.

Hernandez retired his first seven batters he faced before Mike Piazza reached. With one out in the eighth, the Met star hit a soft liner to first baseman Nick Johnson, who let the ball bounce and then mishandled it for an error. Piazza knocked left knees with Johnson as he crossed the bag, then tumbled, while Johnson stayed on his feet.

Piazza stayed in the game--he and Johnson were a bit sore later--and there were no problems.

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