Brett Gardner hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning Friday night for the New York Yankees, who overcame an injury to starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka in a 4-1 win over the host New York Mets at Citi Field.
The Yankees have won three straight and eight of nine. The Mets have lost the first seven games of a nine-game homestand, during which they have scored just eight runs, including three in the last five games.
The Mets took their first lead in a week when Brandon Nimmo homered on Tanaka’s second pitch of the game. But Tanaka retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced before helping the Yankees tie the game in the sixth, though it came at a cost.
Tanaka, an .042 career hitter, reached on a one-out error by Mets first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, went to second on Gleyber Torres’ single and to third on a walk to Gardner.
Aaron Judge followed with a fly to medium right field. Tanaka tagged up and easily beat Jay Bruce’s off-target throw home for his first big league run, but he appeared to slow down on his final two steps and did not slide.
Jonathan Holder entered in the bottom of the inning. Shortly thereafter, the Yankees said Tanaka, who allowed one walk while striking out eight, experienced stiffness in both hamstrings while scoring the run and would be re-evaluated Saturday.
Judge’s sacrifice fly began a stretch of seven straight outs recorded by Mets starter Jacob deGrom (4-1), but the Yankees broke the tie when Torres singled with two outs in the eighth and Gardner followed with a homer to right, his fifth of the season.
Giancarlo Stanton added his 15th home run in the ninth.
Gardner’s homer made a winner out of Chad Green (4-0), who allowed two hits in the seventh. Dellin Betances threw a perfect eighth, and Aroldis Chapman earned his 16th save despite hitting a batter and allowing a hit in the ninth.
DeGrom took the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out eight over eight innings. His National League-leading ERA rose from 1.49 to 1.57. DeGrom has allowed six runs (five earned) over 55 1/3 innings in his last nine starts, during which the Mets are just 2-7.
—Field Level Media