Final in 10

Series: Game 2 of 3

NY Mets leads 2-0 (as of 7/3)

Game 1: Friday, July 2
NY Yankees2Final
NY Mets11
Game 2: Saturday, July 3
NY Yankees9Final
in 10
NY Mets10
Game 3: Sunday, July 4
NY Yankees5Final
NY Mets6

Yankees 9

(50-28, 22-18 away)

Mets 10

(40-39, 23-16 home)

    1:15 PM ET, July 3, 2004

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    12345678910 R H E
    NYY 2103020100 9 - -
    NYM 1032012010 10 - -

    W: J. Franco (2-4)

    L: T. Sturtze (3-1)

    Franco gets out of jam; Sturtze does not

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Mets rushed out of the dugout and mobbed Shane Spencer at first base, jumping up and down in jubilation. It could have been a scene after the final out of the World Series.

    This one merely put the Mets in position to win the regular-season Subway Series for the first time.

    Spencer's bases-loaded dribbler between the mound and first base, a ball that traveled only 40 feet or so, drove in the winning run against his former team, capping an afternoon of comebacks and giving the Mets a thrilling 10-9 victory Saturday over the Yankees.

    "For us it was a test," Spencer said. "It shows we can play with the best."

    Coming a day after the Mets' 11-2 rout, the ending had the season-best crowd of 55,120 looking ahead to Sunday with shouts of "Sweep!" Fans also took note of the Yankees' three wins over the Red Sox coming in, yelling: "We're not Boston!"

    "To sweep 'em would be pretty sweet," Spencer said.

    Tony Clark homered twice on the sunny summer afternoon and tied his career high with four hits, but the Yankees wasted leads of 3-1, 6-4 and 8-6. They loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth and were one pitch from taking the lead when John Franco (2-4) went to a 3-0 count on pinch-hitter Jorge Posada.

    But Posada took a strike, then took another fastball at the knees for strike two, a pitch he thought should have been ball four. Franco came back with another fastball, this one a smidgeon lower.

    After a tiny delay, plate umpire Chuck Meriwether called it strike three.

    "It seemed like a lifetime," Franco said.

    Posada threw his bat, argued and had to be pushed away by Yankees manager Joe Torre. Posada didn't want to talk about the call.

    "That was the game basically right there," Mets manager Art Howe said, "because you know who (Mariano Rivera) is coming in if they score there."

    Cliff Floyd, Ty Wigginton and Richard Hidalgo homered off Jose Contreras, but the Mets made two errors that led to four unearned runs and failed to hold leads of 4-3 and 9-8.

    With the score 9-all in the bottom of the ninth, Tanyon Sturtze (3-1) walked Kaz Matsui, who had three hits. Mike Piazza then popped out, Floyd walked and Hidalgo was hit by a pitch. That brought up Spencer, whose two-run double in seventh put the Mets ahead 9-8.

    The Yankees moved the infield in, and Spencer hit his soft roller. Sturtze fumbled with the ball for a moment and his desperation flip to the plate was high, too late to get Matsui.

    "As soon as I hit it, I thought the game was over," said Spencer, credited with a fielder's choice.

    "It just kind of rolled up my glove a little bit," Sturtze said. "I tried to hurry it because I knew Kaz was running."

    The Mets, who have done no better than split against the Yankees since interleague play began in 1997, have won three of five after going 0-6 last year.

    Spencer, in the Yankees' organization from 1990-02, appreciated how big Saturday's win was for the Mets, who moved over .500 at 40-39.

    "It was games like this we won all the time," he said. "I've been on the other side and we've won more than 90 percent of these games."

    The Yankees took an 8-6 lead in the sixth on Clark's second homer of the day, his fourth in five games. Hidalgo hit a solo homer in the bottom half to set up the go-ahead double by Spencer, who had been 1-for-6 against Tom Gordon with five strikeouts.

    But Mike Stanton walked Bernie Williams leading off the eighth, and Williams became the fourth leadoff walk to score against the Mets. After Wigginton fumbled Clark's broken-bat grounder to third for an error, Ruben Sierra hit a sacrifice fly against Ricky Bottalico.

    Jason Giambi, in a 1-for-15 slump as he battles intestinal parasites, started the Yankees' rally attempt in the ninth with a two-out double off Franco. Giambi was on his fifth day of antibiotics to combat the illness and hasn't started since June 26.

    "I felt before like I was swinging a 500-ounce bat," he said, "but I know the game is slowing down a little."

    Williams was intentionally walked and Clark hit an infield single, with Wigginton diving to make the stop and save the run. Then Posada hit for John Flaherty.

    "They're always going to come back with something," Floyd said.

    Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-5, stranding four of five runners. Rodriguez has just one hit in his last 17 at-bats, and his average has dropped from .307 on June 13 to .276. With runners in scoring position, he is batting just .213 (16-for-75).

    Contreras, in his second start since reuniting with his family after it left Cuba, allowed seven runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.

    "I couldn't really locate the ball at key moments of the game," he said.

    Game notes


    Yankees RHP Kevin Brown, recovering from back spasms and intestinal parasites, won't pitch until at least next weekend. ... Howe called Florida's Jack McKeon, the NL All-Star manager, to lobby for LHP Tom Glavine to be included on the roster.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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