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Wigginton's two homers thwart Yanks

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ty Wigginton and Richard Hidalgo sent the New
York Mets to their sweetest sweep in years.

Wigginton's second homer snapped an eighth-inning tie, Hidalgo
connected for the fourth straight game and the Mets finished off
their first Subway Series sweep with a 6-5 victory over the Yankees
on Sunday.

The surprising Mets took four of six from their crosstown rivals
this year after going 0-6 in 2003. It's the first time they've won
the season series since interleague play began in 1997.

As Braden Looper got the last three outs in the ninth, Mets fans
among the sellout crowd of 55,437 chanted "Sweep! Sweep!" That
surely wasn't the present Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was
hoping for on his 74th birthday.

"Those are the games you want to be in as a closer. It's a lot
of fun," Looper said. "They've got the best record in baseball
and we just swept 'em. It says a lot."

Yankees manager Joe Torre played the game under protest after
Jorge Posada was called out for interference when he was hit while
running from first to second on Miguel Cairo's eighth-inning
grounder, scored a base hit. Mets first baseman Mike Piazza had
dived for the ball in front of Posada.

"He didn't seem clear on what particularly he was protesting,"
crew chief Mike Reilly said. "We were very clear, and we felt we
had gotten it 100 percent right. The second baseman still had an
opportunity to make a play on the ball before Posada deflected
it."

Bernie Williams homered, had four hits and drove in three runs
for the Yankees, who came to Shea Stadium following an emotional
three-game sweep of Boston. The Yankees outhit the Mets 16-8.

"There's no excuses," Gary Sheffield said. "Those guys played
well. They played better than we did."

Orber Moreno (2-1) got the win despite giving up Posada's tying
single in the eighth.

Wigginton hit a two-run shot in the second to put the Mets ahead
3-0, but the bullpen blew a pair of leads. With the score tied at
5, Wigginton sent a drive over the left-field fence off Tom Gordon
(2-3) leading off the eighth for his 10th homer this season, his
third in two games.

"I really just tried to concentrate on getting one up in the
zone that I could drive," Wigginton said.

The Yankees rallied for two runs in the seventh, tying it at 4
on Derek Jeter's RBI single off Ricky Bottalico.

Hidalgo then homered off Felix Heredia in the seventh to give
the Mets a 5-4 lead.

"Hidalgo's just crushing the ball," Looper said. "I tell you
what, we've got a fun team to watch."

Hideki Matsui opened the eighth with a double and scored on
Posada's single. Posada was erased on Cairo's disputed grounder,
and Moreno struck out pinch-hitter Jason Giambi to end the inning.

Looper finished for his 16th save in 18 chances, pushing the
Mets two games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 3, 2002.
They have won four in a row and 13 of 19 overall.

The Mets had never done better than a split of the season series
against the Yankees, much less a sweep of any individual series.
But they scored 27 runs the past three days and everything went
their way -- Piazza even turned a 3-6-3 double play in the second
inning.

"This was a great weekend for us. That's a great team over
there. They eyeballed us, but there was no leeway," Mets manager
Art Howe said. "I think we sent a message to the rest of baseball
that we're starting to swing it."

Jeter, still playing with a bandage on his chin and a welt on
his face from his fearless dive into the stands Thursday night,
went 3-for-5 to raise his average to a season-high .278.

Alex Rodriguez was 0-for-4 and has just one hit in his last 21
at-bats, dropping his average to .273.

"We're not drained. We just made some mistakes. We have to
pitch better," Posada said.

Hidalgo tied a Mets record by homering in his fourth straight
game, accomplished eight times before. He also connected in four
consecutive games Sept. 19-22, 2000, with Houston.

Hidalgo, who has six homers in his past seven games, batted .524
(11-for-21) with five home runs and eight RBI against the Yankees
this season.

"I just enjoyed playing those games," he said.

The Mets built a 4-1 lead against Javier Vazquez, who walked a
season-high five in five innings.

Piazza hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and the Mets
went ahead 3-0 on Wigginton's first home run. Williams' 10th homer,
off Jae Seo, cut it to 3-1 in the third.

A throwing error by Rodriguez at third base helped the Mets
score an unearned run in the bottom half on Jason Phillips'
sacrifice fly

Cairo scored from second on Williams' RBI single off Wigginton's
glove at second base in the fifth.

The Yankees tied it at 4 by scoring two runs on four consecutive
singles in the seventh. Williams and Jeter each had an RBI.

"I was impressed by the way they came back," Jeter said. "As
many times as we came back, they kept coming back, too."

Game notes
Wigginton had first career multihomer game. ... Mets SS Kaz
Matsui made his 17th error but turned three double plays. ... The
Yankees lead the Mets 26-16 in the interleague series.