Masahiro Tanaka throws four-hitter as Yanks end skid vs. Mets
After hitting six home runs in two wins at Yankee Stadium, the Mets returned Wednesday night to Citi Field, where long fly balls -- especially those hit by the home team -- seem to stay in the park.
Back to Citi Field, back immediately to reality in the first inning when David Wright sent a long drive to right against Masahiro Tanaka.
At Yankee Stadium, a two-run home run. At Citi Field, an out on the warning track.
The Yankees got home runs from Yangervis Solarte and Mark Teixeira, and Tanaka threw a four-hitter in a 4-0 win before 35,577.
"We hit three home runs tonight," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We just were in the wrong park."
Tanaka (6-0, 2.17 ERA), who hasn't lost a regular-season start since Aug. 19, 2012, was more the reason for the final score than the ballpark. But even the 25-year-old righthander admitted he pitched to the spacious Citi Field confines.
"Yes, the size of the stadiums are different," Tanaka said through his translator. "Going into the game I did have in my mind that this was a bigger stadium."
Tanaka walked none and struck out eight in a 114-pitch effort. Overall, Tanaka has walked seven and struck out 66. He is the first Yankees rookie to begin his career 6-0 as a starter since Whitey Ford went 9-0 in 1950.
Daniel Murphy, who went 1-for-4, said of Tanaka's deadly splitter: "I knew what was coming. I just couldn't hit it."
Tanaka also hit a ground single to center in the ninth for his first major-league hit. (Mets pitchers are hitless in a record 64 at-bats this season.)
Asked what his highlight was, Tanaka said: "The first hit." He then added, "I was just kidding."
The result snapped a six-game Mets winning streak in the Subway Series dating to last year. The Yankees won a series-high seven straight in 2002-03.
The Yankees, who had lost four in a row, improved to 20-19; the Mets fell to 19-20.
"I knew that we were in a little funk," Tanaka said. "I also knew that we hadn't won a Subway Series [game] in a while. Yes, I did want to try and go out there and get a win for us."
The Mets got a promising performance from 23-year-old righthander Rafael Montero, who allowed three runs and five hits in six innings in his major-league debut.
"In some ways this is a David and Goliath matchup," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said before the game. "One guy's never lost. The other guy's never pitched."
Montero should have given up only two runs. The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the second when Eric Young Jr. failed to make a diving catch coming in on a liner by Brian Roberts.
Solarte scored from first on what was ruled a triple. Young should have been more conservative with two outs and Tanaka on deck.
Solarte (1-for-3), who is tied with Detroit's Victor Martinez for the American League lead in batting average at .336, made it 2-0 with a line shot into the lower deck in right in the fourth. It was the rookie's fourth home run and second in two games.
Teixeira homered into the Mets' bullpen in right-center leading off the sixth. It was his eighth of the season and seventh in his last 15 games. The Yankees added a run in the seventh on an infield single by Derek Jeter.