The Yankees showed their fighting spirit on Sunday night but still suffered a crushing 7-6 loss to the Mets in the finale of the Subway Series at Citi Field.
Francisco Lindor’s third home run of the game — a solo shot off Chad Green in the eighth inning — provided the margin of victory for the Mets, who won four of the six meetings with the Yankees this season.
"We lost a tough ballgame that we fought our way back in," Aaron Boone said. "I thought we competed really, really well . . . A great player finished off a great night and that ultimately was the difference."
The Yankees (79-64), who have lost 12 of their last 15 games, fell out of a playoff spot. They trail AL wild-card co-leaders Toronto and Boston by one game with three weeks left in the regular season.
"If we play well, we’ll be where we want to be," Boone said.
The Yankees had come back from a three-run deficit to tie the score at 6-6 on Giancarlo Stanton’s 443-foot two-run homer off Brad Hand in the seventh inning — a blast that led to a benches-clearing incident as Stanton rounded the bases.
As he ran around the bases after his second home run, Lindor had whistled at shortstop Gleyber Torres and reliever Wandy Peralta, apparently referencing the Yankees' alleged whistling on Saturday night to tip off Taijuan Walker's pitches. After hitting his tying homer, Stanton stopped his trot to jaw with Lindor near second base.
"I think you guys saw Lindor when he went around the bases," Boone said. "G gave a little bit back and boys will be boys. That’s about it."
Was there whistling? "The last couple nights, we’ve just been loud over there," Boone said. "Not doing anything."
Asked directly if the Yankees were whistling on Saturday to tip pitches, Stanton said, "No."
Stanton and Joey Gallo both said Peralta, who gave up Lindor’s second home run, is a very loud whistler and was doing it from the dugout when Walker gave up five runs in the second inning on Saturday. Stanton said he thought Lindor was yelling at Peralta because of that.
"It’s just Wandy," Gallo said, "obviously just trying to liven up the dugout. That’s what we talked about — just trying to bring a lot of energy to the dugout, obviously in a tough stretch for us. It’s a loud whistle and it’s definitely not for pitch-tipping or anything like that. One hundred percent not that. It’s just him trying to bring energy to the dugout, especially early in the game, first inning, second inning, before he has to go to the bullpen. That’s all it is. It’s been hurtin’ my ear, honestly. It’s unbelievable how loud he can whistle."
Stanton and Lindor, the two main verbal combatants, have contracts that are worth a combined $666 million.
No punches were thrown and no one was ejected during the bench-clearing incident, which came one night after the Yankees and Mets took the field together and embraced as a unified New York during the Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony.
Brett Gardner gave a "thumbs-down" gesture to Lindor and Javier Baez, a reference to the recent Mets incident in which the players had to apologize after booing their own fans.
Lindor’s trip around the bases after his third home run was quick and without incident. He did take a curtain call from the Mets fans in the crowd of 33,805 as the first player to hit three home runs in a Subway Series game.
The Yankees had a chance in the ninth as DJ LeMahieu singled with one out and Anthony Rizzo walked against Edwin Diaz. But Gardner struck out and, after a passed ball on 1-and-2 moved the runners into scoring position, Stanton got jammed and hit a soft pop to Lindor for the final out.
"At the end of the day, barring physical fights, talk is cheap," Stanton said. "The talk is out on the field, getting it done, and we were both in an opportunity to get that [win] and I didn’t come up in that situation [in the ninth]."
The game took 4:06.
The Yankees were trailing 5-2 when Gleyber Torres hit a two-run home run off Jeurys Familia in the sixth. Lindor’s second home run made it 6-4 before Stanton tied it.
Aaron Judge left the game before the bottom of the third inning because of "dizziness," the Yankees announced, but no tests are planned.
"I was concerned," Boone said. "But I just spoke with him. He’s doing pretty good. So hopefully we’ll be in a good spot for tomorrow [the Yankees have a 2 p.m. home game Monday against Minnesota]."
The game was delayed during the first inning at-bat as Boone and a trainer checked on Judge, who later struck out.
"I think right after the first pitch of his first at-bat, he just got a little bit dizzy," Boone said. "It lasted for a little bit."
Judge also struck out in the third. He was replaced in centerfield by Gardner in the bottom of the inning.
Righthander Clarke Schmidt was called up before the game and made his 2021 debut after coming back from an elbow strain. The 25-year-old, who is ranked as the Yankees’ fifth-best prospect by MLB.com, went 4 1/3 innings and was charged with five runs (two earned).
Schmidt gave up a three-run home run by Lindor with two outs in the second inning as the Mets took a 4-2 lead after the Yankees scored twice in the top of the first.
The runs that scored on Lindor’s blast were unearned after Torres booted Kevin Pillar’s leadoff grounder to short for his 18th error.
Schmidt gave up seven hits, walked three, hit a batter and struck out two. He also had the first two plate appearances of his career: a second-inning walk and a fourth-inning strikeout, both against Mets starter Carlos Carrasco.
The Yankees staked Schmidt to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Stanton’s one-out RBI double was the Yankees’ first hit with a runner in scoring position since Wednesday (they had been 0-for-their-last-15).
Joey Gallo made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly — only the second of his seven-year big-league career.
Schmidt walked his first batter, Jonathan Villar, on four pitches and gave up a one-out RBI single by Michael Conforto in a 24-pitch bottom of the first.