Posada Gives Mets Pain From Both Sides of Plate

It was one of those games for the Mets. They pounded Yankees starter Mike Mussina for three home runs and five runs, but Jorge Posada homered from both sides of the plate for five total rbis and former Met Robin Ventura had a four-RBI day and Orlando Hernandez came in to relive Mussina in the sixth and muzzled the Mets, as the Yanks took the first game of the three-game set very convincingly,11-5 on a warm Friday night.

The Yankees scoring started from another Mets error. . With two outs, Johnny Vander Wal hit a single to left field. Roger Cedeno got down on one knee to block the ball, and he apparently took his eye off the ball at the last second, the ball wound up skittering behind him. Vander Wal went to second and Nick Johnson then took advantage of the error and singled, scoring Vander Wal to give the Yanks the early 1-0 lead.

Cedeno immediately atoned for his error by homering to deep center to lead the second inning and tie the game.

Robin Ventura, the former Met, got revenge for being traded in the off-season by hitting a two-run double in the third to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Posada then tried to pound another nail on the coffin of the Mets season by turning on an inside fastball that didn't go inside enough and hitting a three-run home run and giving the Yankees a 6-1 lead.

Mo Vaughn, who has been looking like he's getting back on track of late, hit a two-run home run, with Piazza aboard to cut the lead to 6-3. They added another run when Cedeño hit a fielder's choice that evolved into a strange play. With Edgardo Alfonzo at third and Burnitz at first, Cedeño hit a ground ball to Yankee second baseman Alfonso Soriano. Burnitz tried to get Soriano to get him in a rundown to allow Alfonzo to score. Soriano bobbled the ball though, and as Burnitz wheeled to try to go to second, Johnson picked up the ball and threw to second to get Burnitz, but Alfonzo scored.

Timo Perez made it a 6-5 game with a one-out solo home run to centerfield in the fifth.

After Jason Giambi doubled in the bottom of the fifth, that was it for D'Amico. Bobby J. Jones came in and it looked like he was going to get out of the inning unscathed after striking out Bernie Williams and getting Ventura out. Posada, who was batting from the left side against D'Amico, switched over to the right side of the plate and promptly drilled a Jones offering over the left field fence to give the Yankees an 8-5 lead.

The Yankees added two more runs in the sixth. Karim Garcia hit an infield single and advanced to third on Derek Jeter's single. Jason Giambi then hit a ground ball that Vaughn was able to make a diving catch of, but when Vaughn tried to throw to second to start a double play, he threw it past Ordonez, and Garcia scored. Jeter went to third and Giambi went to second. After Jones intentionally walked Williams, Valentine brought in just-called-up rookie Jason Cerda, who gave up a long sacrifice fly to Ventura to give the Yankees a 10-5 lead.

It became 11-5 when Ventura hit a bases-loaded sac fly in the eighth off Satoru Komiyama.

Notes


-Cerda recorded his first major league strikeout in the seventh, striking out Vander Wal, and actually struck out the side.
-D'Amico got the loss; dropping to 4-7 while Mussina got his eleventh victory of the year, raising his record to 11-3.
- Giambi had two doubles and Ventura and Vander Wal had one apiece.
-Burnitz had two hits on the night to lead the Mets.
-Saturday's starters will be Al Leiter (7-6, 3.07 E.R.A.) and Ted Lilly (3-5, 2.97 E.R.A.)

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