Victory #1

Brandon Claussen was sparkling in his major league debut for the Yankees against the Mets. The Yankees put up nine runs against Tom Glavine in support of the rookie, and they ended up need all of them after the bullpen imploded. Mariano Rivera came in and shut the door on the Mets' hit parade as the Yankees hung on to win by a final score of 9-8 and sweep the doubleheader.

The Yankees jumped all over Glavine early. Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter hit back-to-back homeruns to start the game, and the Mets quickly found themselves down by two. Glavine had never given up two homers to the first two batters before, and the effect of it seemed to resonate throughout the game.

For a good while, the two runs appeared to be all the Claussen (1-0) would need. The rookie left-hander carried a shutout into the sixth inning when the Mets finally put a runner across home plate. Claussen picked up a victory in his very first start by pitching 6 1/3 innings and allowing two runs – only one earned – on eight hits and a walk while striking out five.

Claussen's repertoire of a good fastball and nasty changeup kept the Mets hitters off balance for the entire game. The youngster can also break out a terrific slider, though he tends not to because of the stress it causes on his surgically repaired elbow.

The Yankees tacked on a run in the fourth on catcher John Flaherty's safety squeeze bunt that scored Hideki Matsui from third. Matsui went 4/4 in the game, bringing an end to a tremendous day at the plate for the rookie.

The Yankees broke the game open in the fifth inning, putting up five more runs against Glavine. Soriano led off the inning by reaching on an infield single and stealing second base. Derek Jeter walked to bring up Jason Giambi who laced a single through the left side against the shifted Mets, scoring Soriano.

After Raul Mondesi lined out, Matsui ripped an RBI single to score Jeter, and Juan Rivera hit an RBI double to score Giambi and chase Glavine from the game.

The Mets used a double switch to replace Glavine, inserting Joe McEwing at shortstop and putting Dan Wheeler on the mound. After Flaherty walked intentionally to load the bases, Enrique Wilson lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Matsui and leave runners at the corners for Claussen. The pitcher – who hadn't swung a bat in six years before this game – chopped an infield single up the middle to plate a run and cap the scoring. Claussen managed to drive in a run before ever giving one up.

Jason Giambi's solo homerun in the sixth gave the Yankees a 9-0 lead. But the Yankees faltered from there. After Jason Phillips drove in a run in the sixth to make it 9-1, Roger Cedeno homered off of Claussen in the seventh to chase the rookie from the game. Sterling Hitchcock came on in relief and promptly gave up a homerun to Ty Wigginton to make it 9-3.

But the Mets made things even more interesting in the eighth. They put up five runs on a double from Tony Clark, a sacrifice fly from Roberto Alomar and a bases-loaded double from Raul Gonzalez – who was called up between the two games.

Mariano Rivera came in after Dan Miceli failed to retire a batter. Rivera allowed all three baserunners to score, and one more, but finally worked out of it by striking out Wigginton. Rivera worked a perfect ninth to grab his thirteenth save of the year.

Glavine (5-8) took the loss, allowing eight runs on ten hits and a pair of walks in 4 1/3 innings.

The final game of the 2003 Subway Series will be on Sunday at 8:05 pm. The Yankees have won all five games so far and are looking to sweep for the first time since Interleague play began. Jeff Weaver (3-6, 5.73) will take the mound for the Bombers, and the Mets' Al Leiter (8-4, 5.44) will oppose him.

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