Pettitte Shuts Down Mets

The Yankees stepped up their game to face their cross-town rivals. Andy Pettitte pitched seven scoreless innings and Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter hit back-to-back homeruns in the third to beat the Mets in the first game of the 2003 Subway Series by a final score of 5-0.

Fans came out in droves to Shea Stadium despite the threat of rain. Amid the cheers of "Let's Go Yankees! … Yankees Suck!" the Yankees took the Mets to school. Though the rivalry between the teams has been less emphatic since the 2000 World Series, both teams always elevate their level of play when facing off against each other.

And Friday night would be no different.

The Mets got the excitement ball rolling in the bottom of the first. After Roberto Alomar led off the inning with a double and Ty Wigginton struck out looking, Jeromy Burnitz stepped to the plate. Burnitz, who has been leading the Mets offensively for the last few weeks, took a called strike three but didn't look happy about it. He argued the call, and when he got back to the dugout, home-plate umpire R Kulpa ejected him.

Art Howe came out to argue, and Burnitz charged out of the dugout to argue some more. Burnitz had to be restrained, but eventually calmed down and left, leaving Joe McEwing to replace him in right field.

Pettitte walked Cliff Floyd and Jason Phillips to load the bases, but got Vance Wilson to ground out harmlessly to third base to escape the jam.

The score stayed tied at zero until Soriano stepped to the plate in the third. The slugging second baseman connected on Steve Trachsel's second pitch of the inning and sent it sailing into the Yankees' bullpen. Five pitches later, Jeter swatted a homerun of his own out to centerfield over the leaping Tsuyoshi Shinjo to put the Yankees up 2-0.

Pettitte (7-6) settled down from there, working his way out of some trouble in a few innings, but keeping the Mets off the board and posting the victory. He left the game after the seventh inning, having allowed just five hits and a pair of walks while striking out eight.

Trachsel (5-5) left after seven innings as well. He allowed two runs on five hits and five walks while striking out five. David Weathers relieved Trachsel to start the eighth and could not record an out. Weathers walked Jorge Posada and gave up a hit-and-run single to Hideki Matsui to put runners on the corners.

Former Yankee Graeme Lloyd relieved Weathers and promptly allowed an RBI single to Ruben Sierra to make it 3-0 Yankees. But Lloyd retired the next three batters he faced, not including an intentional walk to Raul Mondesi, to end the threat.

The Mets brought in Armando Benitez to keep the Yankees within reach of a comeback, but Benitez faltered. Derek Jeter punched a ball right into Benitez, knocking the pitcher back onto the mound. The ball trickled off the mound and Jeter was safe at first with an infield single. Jason Giambi stepped in and rocketed a homerun to deep right field, just inside the foul pole, off of Benitez to give the Yankees their final lead of 5-0.

Chris Hammond, Jason Anderson and Mariano Rivera completed the shutout. Anderson didn't record an out in the ninth, allowing two straight singles, but Rivera came in to close the door and end the game.

The second game of the three-game set is Saturday at 1:15pm. The Yankees' Mike Mussina (9-4, 2.99) will face off against Tom Glavine (5-7, 4.52) of the Mets at Shea Stadium.

Notes: The Yankees would have had more runs if not for the fantastic defense of Shinjo in centerfield. Shinjo threw out Robin Ventura at third base in the fourth inning, and robbed Soriano of his second homerun in the fifth … None of the Mets' nine starters Friday were on the Mets in 2000 when they played the Yankees in the World Series.

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