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Alex Rodriguez's homer, two RBIs help Yankees take series from Mets

Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees

Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees celebrates with his teammates after defeating the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

After the first leg of this year's Subway Series came to a close Sunday night, the Mets left Yankee Stadium exactly where they were when they arrived: in first place with the best record in baseball.

The Yankees, however, put the brakes on the Mets' super-charged start by winning two of three, including Sunday night's 6-4 decision before a sellout crowd of 47,510.

The Mets (14-5) made four errors in the field and one on the bases when Eric Campbell forgot how many outs there were and was doubled off first base in the sixth.

"We made a lot of mistakes," Terry Collins said. "That was just one of them . . . It was just a bad night. Just a bad night for us."

It was a good night for Alex Rodriguez, who hit his 659th home run in the first inning to move within one of Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time list. The Yankees also remained where they were when the weekend began: tied for first place in the AL East.

Rodriguez's solo shot off the top of the right-centerfield fence and into the Yankees' bullpen off Jon Niese helped the Yankees (11-8) recover from a 2-0 deficit. It also brought A-Rod and the Yankees closer to what could end up being an ugly contract dispute.

With his next home run, Rodriguez will trigger a $6-million milestone bonus the Yankees reportedly do not plan to pay.

The Yankees reportedly are going to contend that Rodriguez's past steroid use has tainted the accomplishment and that it no longer can be marketed. If the Yankees fail to make the payment, Rodriguez and the Players Association likely will file a grievance and the matter will be decided by an arbitrator.

Rodriguez, with anticipation in the crowd building for the milestone, also contributed a double during the Yankees' four-run second inning, had a run-scoring forceout in the fifth and lined to left in the seventh.

"He sparked our offense," Joe Girardi said.

Rodriguez said he has "no idea" what the Yankees plan to do -- if anything -- to mark the occasion when he hits No. 660, which could come as early as Monday night against Tampa Bay.

"I don't have a marketing degree," he said.

Curtis Granderson led off the game with his first home run of the season and Daniel Murphy had the first of his two RBI doubles as the Mets took a 2-0 lead against Nathan Eovaldi.

The Yankees had four doubles in a four-run second that gave them a 5-2 lead. Consecutive two-out RBI doubles by Gregorio Petit and Brett Gardner and an RBI single by Chris Young made it 4-2. Then Rodriguez doubled to left and Michael Cuddyer spiked the ball into the ground while throwing it to second. The ball trickled into the infield and Young scored just before Rodriguez was thrown out trying to take third.

The Mets pulled to within 5-4 in the third inning on two-out RBI doubles by Cuddyer and Murphy off Eovaldi, who went only 41/3 innings.

Chasen Shreve (1-0), Chris Martin, Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller (seventh save) combined for 42/3 innings of scoreless relief.

The Yankees made it 6-4 in the fifth when Gardner reached on an infield single, moved to third on an error by Murphy on a hot shot by Young and scored on Rodriguez's forceout. Wilmer Flores got the out at second before air-mailing the throw to first into the stands for the Mets' fourth error of the night.

Campbell also produced a baserunning error when he thought there were two outs and was doubled off first on a fly to right.

"In a game like this, you can't make those mistakes," Collins said. "You've got to know how many outs there are."

The Yankees and Mets will meet again on Sept. 18-20 at Citi Field. This weekend's series drew 140,729 fans.

New York Sports