After Brett Gardner robbed Daniel Murphy of a two-run home run in the sixth inning of the first game of the Subway Series Monday night, Murphy got mad. Then he got even.
Two innings after firing his batting helmet into the dirt between first and second base in disgust, Murphy smacked a tiebreaking two-out single in the eighth as the Mets came back to beat the Yankees, 2-1, before a less-than-capacity crowd at Citi Field.
"There was a lot of prayer that went on in between the robbing of the home run and the next at-bat," Murphy said. "Mostly for peace because I was fairly angry after he took that from us."
Murphy's hit gave the Mets (19-29) the first round of bragging rights over the Yankees (30-20) in this new-format, four-games-in-four-days version of the 17th annual battle of New York.
"For me, it's been a little bit of a frustrating time for us," Murphy said. "To battle like that, to just absolutely battle . . . it felt like it was a big moment and I was really excited."
In the eighth, with Robertson (3-1) pitching, Mike Baxter dunked a one-out double down the leftfield line. Pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin walked before both runners moved up on a passed ball by Chris Stewart.
Bobby Parnell struck out two in the ninth and got pinch hitter Travis Hafner to pop out to Wright with the tying run on first for his eighth save. Brandon Lyon (2-2), who pitched a scoreless eighth, got the victory.
Has the aging Subway Series lost some of its luster? The non-sellout crowd of 32,911 seems to prove it has. But Yankees vs. Mets still promises moments that will make half of New York rise up and cheer and the other half toss their caps to the floor in anger.
Gardner provided that moment.
The Yankees led 1-0 with Jonathon Niese on first and two outs in the sixth when Murphy drove Hughes' changeup to deep left-center.
Gardner -- who had smacked into the right-centerfield wall on Wright's triple in the first inning -- timed his leap perfectly on Murphy's apparent two-run homer and brought it back into the stunned stadium.
"Pretty special," Girardi said. "It looked for a while like Gardy was going to be the star of the game."
But the Mets tied it in the next inning when Wright launched a 2-and-2 fastball to left for his seventh home run.
The Yankees had taken a 1-0 lead in the sixth when Gardner tripled to left past a diving Lucas Duda and scored on Jayson Nix's single to right.
The Yankees and Mets wore camouflage uniforms and caps to honor the nation's fallen military members on Memorial Day, as did every team around baseball.
The camouflage on the Yankees' jerseys worked a little too well -- it was difficult to see the "New York" on the front of the road grays. And the numbers on the players' backs weren't easy to pick up, either.
The Mets, such as they are, were recognizable in their home whites. But many fans apparently camouflaged themselves as empty seats for an event that used to be a guaranteed sellout.
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.