Sonny Gray’s first start as a Yankee in the Bronx went about as well as he could have hoped. The righthander allowed two runs in six-plus innings, and Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run home run off Jacob deGrom as the Yankees topped the Mets, 5-4, before a sellout crowd of 46,474 Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees won despite another shaky outing by closer Aroldis Chapman, who served up a two-run homer to rookie Ahmed Rosario with one out in the ninth to bring the Mets to within a run.
But Chapman, after a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild, got Travis d’Arnaud on a grounder to short as Didi Gregorius ranged far into the hole. Chapman retired Juan Lagares on a grounder to first for his 16th save, but the reliever grimaced as he left the mound and approached first base gingerly before making the putout.
“When I reacted, (my hamstring) tightened up a little bit, but it’s nothing to worry about,’’ Chapman said. “I feel good.”
The Mets’ other prized rookie, Dominic Smith, hit his first home run, a two-run shot in the seventh off Gray.
The Subway Series shifts to Flushing on Wednesday night after the Yankees swept the two games in the Bronx.
Gray (7-7) picked up his first win as a Yankee in his third start with the club. He pitched well enough in his first two, also allowing two earned runs in six innings both times, but the Yankees provided Gray with exactly one run combined in losses in Cleveland and Toronto.
Ellsbury doubled that output for Gray with a two-run shot in the fourth. Gary Sanchez homered in the sixth as the Yankees took a 4-0 lead.
Smith ended Gray’s night with a two-run homer to the opposite field. Joe Girardi didn’t hesitate to go to his bullpen once Smith’s drive cleared the leftfield wall over the leaping try of Aaron Hicks.
“It was a fun game overall,’’ Gray said, “and anytime you come away with a win it makes it that much better. It was a great atmosphere, it was a great crowd. If you can put together a solid game and come away with a win on nights like tonight when the crowd’s into it, the players are into it, it makes it that much better.”
Gray allowed five hits, walked two and struck out five in a 104-pitch effort.
“I thought he threw a good game,” Girardi said. “We got him some runs, which always helps.”
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third. Ronald Torreyes led off with a grounder inside third base that scooted past a diving Wilmer Flores. Flores wasn’t the only one to taste dirt — Torreyes slipped and fell before he got to first base. But the diminutive Yankee picked himself up (no time to dust himself off) and slid into second ahead of the throw from Yoenis Cespedes for a well-earned double. Brett Gardner bunted Torreyes to third and Hicks singled to right for a 1-0 lead.
Terry Collins brought the infield in for Hicks’ at-bat, which was perhaps a testament to how sharp Gray looked.
“The delivery’s so deliberate, all of a sudden there’s action,” said Collins, who had never seen Gray pitch. “He’s probably a tough guy to get too much timing on. He moves his fastball around very effectively, pitches in, great breaking ball. I was real impressed the way he threw.”
DeGrom had been as sharp as any pitcher in baseball lately. In his previous 11 starts, the righthander was 9-2 with a 1.82 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 79 1⁄3 innings.
In the fourth, deGrom issued a two-out walk to Chase Headley before Ellsbury jumped on the first pitch and lined a two-run homer to right. It was Ellsbury’s sixth home run and it gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
In the sixth, Sanchez hit his second homer in as many nights, a solo shot to left. Sanchez also had a long sacrifice fly in the eighth on deGrom’s 100th and final pitch.
DeGrom (13-6) allowed five runs and nine hits in 7 1⁄3 innings. He walked two and struck out four.
Aaron Judge struck out in the first inning, giving him 32 consecutive games with at least one strikeout. That ties Adam Dunn’s record for a non-pitcher.