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Mets score in ninth, 10th to beat Yankees

New York Mets' Jason Bay, center, is greeted

New York Mets' Jason Bay, center, is greeted by teammates after batting in the winning run during the tenth inning against the New York Yankees at Citi Field in New York. The Mets defeated the Yankees 3-2. (July 3, 2011) Credit: AP

Turns out you can't predict the weather any easier than you can predict baseball. Specifically, when it's going to rain and when Mariano Rivera is going to blow a one-run lead with two outs and none on in the ninth.

The Mets learned the former and the Yankees the latter . The Mets delayed the Subway Series finale for nearly an hour and a half at the start while waiting for a rainstorm that never came, baffling fans at Citi Field and causing a tiff with Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Then came the really hard-to-forecast parts. The Yankees were poised for a sweep of the weekend series when Jason Bay drew a two-out walk on a 3-and-2 pitch from Rivera. Two singles later, the save was blown and the score was tied.

Bay then drove in the winning run with a 10th-inning single off Hector Noesi as the Mets shocked the Yankees, 3-2.

Bay has a positive history against Rivera -- a tying home run at Fenway Park in 2009 comes to mind -- but almost no good memories since leaving the Red Sox to sign with the Mets.

In fact, Bay hit into a double play in the seventh inning and heard boos even before the grounder reached shortstop Ramiro Peña's glove. So he seemed an unlikely candidate to be on the receiving end of hugs and helmet thumps after his single with two outs in the 10th, moments after Peña's second error in the final two innings.

"I knew I was gonna get swarmed,'' Bay said. "I think it was huge. It wasn't of the utmost importance, but I think if you look at what we were up against . . . It just kind of seemed like we were taking blow after blow.''

The Mets won without Jose Reyes, who spent his morning in an MRI tube after leaving Saturday's game with hamstring tightness. Reyes has a Grade I (least severe) strain and is day-to-day. And starting pitcher R.A. Dickey left 's game after five innings with a tight left glute muscle.

"I'm running out of things to say about these guys,'' manager Terry Collins said. "They just come and play until the game's over. They take blows and they bounce back.''

The Mets (42-42) left for Los Angeles having lost four of six games in the Subway Series. The Yankees (50-32) headed to Cleveland with the expectation of welcoming back Derek Jeter.

The win was bigger for the Mets than the loss was for the Yankees. The Mets maintained their status as a never-say-die unit after their late rally. "This is enormous,'' Collins said. "To battle to the end and score off Mariano, which doesn't happen too often, and then get the one guy we needed to get going and have him get a big hit for us, there's a lot of pieces that fell into place today that were important.''

After Carlos Beltran doubled with two outs in the first and scored on Daniel Murphy's single, Robinson Cano led off the fifth with a double -- the first hit off Dickey -- and scored on Nick Swisher's single to tie it. Brett Gardner led off the eighth with a triple off Jason Isringhausen and scored on Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

In the ninth, the Yankees were a strike away from victory when Bay walked on an outside cutter and moved to third on a single by Lucas Duda. Collins sent righthanded-hitting Ronny Paulino to bat for lefty-swinging Josh Thole because of Rivera's historical reverse platoon splits. After falling behind 0-and-2 and taking a pitch that just missed low, Paulino singled to right to tie it. "I just thought he had a better chance to get a hit,'' Collins said.

The Mets could have won in regulation when Ruben Tejada's grounder went through Peña for an error, but Gardner threw out Duda at the plate to send the game to extra innings.

The usually sure-handed Peña was starting for Jeter's replacement, the injured Eduardo Nuñez (hamstring, day-to-day). Peña committed a second error in the 10th when he muffed Murphy's potential inning-ending grounder. That loaded the bases for Bay, who lined a single to right-center to end it.

"It's a frustrating loss for us,'' said Girardi, whose day began with a miscommunication over the revised start time during the 1:29 drizzle delay.

The Mets announced at about 1:50 that the game would begin at 2:30. But the message apparently took its time to get to the Yankees because Freddy Garcia was late to the field and still warming up in the bullpen at 2:30.

Garcia started walking from the bullpen in right-centerfield to the Yankees' third-base dugout with pitching coach Larry Rothschild and catcher Francisco Cervelli as Dickey was warming up on the mound.

Dickey was ready to throw his first pitch to Gardner, but the three Yankees still were making their trek through the outfield. It didn't appear as if they were in any hurry to reach the dugout as Dickey waited and the crowd booed its second confusing delay of the day.

"Freddy just didn't have enough time [to warm up],'' Girardi said. "I went to the umpires and I went to Terry Collins and said, 'Our guy needs more time . . . He's not going to be ready by 2:30.' ''

At least that prediction came true.


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