Yanks Five Run Third Sinks Mets, Leiter 5-3

Al Leiter came into the night having allowed eight home runs in ninety-one innings all season, but he surrendered three in the bottom of the third on Sunday night and it cost him. Jason Giambi hit a three-run blast and two batters later Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada launched back-to-back solo shots in route to a 5-3 Yankees win over the Mets on Sunday night inside Yankee Stadium.

The Mets saw their manager Art Howe get ejected prior to Giambi's homer as they lost all six games to their cross town rivals for the first time in franchise history.

Chris Hammond pitched a scoreless eighth and Mariano Rivera came on in the ninth to earn his fourteenth save as the Yankees won for the fifteenth time in their last seventeen games.

Jeromy Burnitz gave the Mets (34-46) an early lead in the first when he deposited an offering from Jeff Weaver (4-6) over the right field wall for a three-run shot and his fourteenth homer of the season.

The Yankees (51-31) stormed back against Al Leiter (8-5). With one out in the third, Alfonso Soriano drew a walk before Derek Jeter singled up the middle to push him to third, but Timo Perez tried to throw out the Yankee second basemen who was attempting to go to third. He was called safe, yet Art Howe argued and was soon ejected.

Two batters later, Hideki Matsui hit his ninth homer of the year and Jorge Posada added his sixteenth for a 5-3 Yankee lead and one they would not relinquish.

Al Leiter -- who came in 5-7 with a 3.19 ERA in 17 career appearances against the Yankees -- pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and five runs while walking six and fanning three.

Jeff Weaver -- who was winless in his previous six starts -- recovered from a shaky first to throw seven innings of three hit ball. He walked two, struck out three, and allowed just the home run to Burnitz.

Notes
LHP Al Leiter gave up three homers in an inning for the first time in his career... The Mets optioned OF Tsuyoshi Shinjo to Triple-A Norfolk in between games on Saturday and called up OF Raul Gonzalez... RHP Jeremy Griffiths was sent down to Triple-A Norfolk prior to Sunday's game as the Mets called up LHP Jaime Cerda... The Yankees have won seven games in a row against the Mets dating back to the 2002 season... 1B Giambi has now reached base safely in 35 straight games, three shy of his career best set in 1998... Steve Trachsel (6-5, 4.56) draws Javier Vazquez (6-5, 4.02) in the series opener against the Expos on Monday...

Writer Christopher Guy covers the Mets for NYMFansOnly.com on a daily basis and can be e-mailed at CGGuy86@Yahoo.com


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