Flushing, NY – Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez homered in a four- run seventh inning Saturday night to lead the Yankees over the Mets, 4-3, in a Subway Series set for a high-profile finish.
Ibanez hit a three-run homer off Mets starter Chris Young to tie the game and Chavez added a go-ahead solo blast two batters later off Jon Rauch (3-7).
The Yankees bounced back from a 6-4 loss in the opener of the three-game set Friday night but will have to face red-hot Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in the finale Sunday night.
Dickey, the first National League pitcher since 1944 to throw back-to-back one-hitters, will face Yankees ace CC Sabathia.
"It was a big win for us," said Chavez. "We had lost three games in a row and R.A.'s throwing tomorrow, so we really needed to pull this one out."
Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered for the Mets on Saturday, but their four-game winning streak was snapped.
David Wright extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single off Rafael Soriano in the ninth inning and Daniel Murphy hit a long fly ball to right with two outs, but it was caught to end the game and give Soriano his 14th save.
Mets starter Chris Young pitched well through six innings, but came out after giving up Ibanez's homer. He allowed four hits and three walks while striking out four and knocked Yankees starter Ivan Nova out of the game with an RBI single in the sixth that made it 3-0.
The Yankees snapped a three-game skid, which had come on the heels of their 10-game winning streak. They are 11-3 during a current 15-game stretch against NL East teams, which started with a three-game sweep against the Mets at home from June 8-10.
Nova, who had won five straight starts, took a no decision in this one after allowing three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and three walks. He struck out seven and walked three in 5 2/3 innings.
Young was cruising until the seventh, when he walked Mark Teixeira and gave up a double to Nick Swisher before Ibanez lined a first-pitch fastball over the wall in the right field corner to tie the game.
Rauch came in to strike out Russell Martin, but Chavez followed with a pinch- hit homer to left on a 92 mph fastball for a 4-3 Yankees lead.
"He hit a good pitch. What are you gonna do, he takes a panic swing and it somehow barrels it," said Rauch. "I think everybody in this clubhouse was amazed he was able to do that with that pitch."
Cody Eppley gave up a leadoff double to Jordany Valdespin in the bottom of the seventh, but Boone Logan came in later and got back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
David Robertson issued one-out walks to Omar Quintanilla and Josh Thole in the eighth, but struck out Justin Turner and Nieuwenhuis to end another Mets threat.
"[The relievers] did a great job. They really did," said Ibanez. "And I thought Nova pitched very well. We weren't able to get him any runs early on."
Nova didn't allow a hit until Nieuwenhuis reached out and poked a low fastball over the wall in the left field corner leading off the third for his seventh homer of the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Mets pushed their lead to 2-0 in the fourth after Scott Hairston reached on an error by Alex Rodriguez at third, moved up two bases on Quintanilla's double and scored on Thole's groundout.
After giving up a leadoff single to Derek Jeter in the first inning, Young retired 11 straight Yankees before allowing a two-out walk to Robinson Cano in the fourth. He pitched around Swisher's leadoff single in the fifth and got out of trouble in the sixth after Curtis Granderson walked and stole second.
Murphy doubled to lead off the sixth inning and Young chased Nova with a single to center for a 3-0 lead. Clay Rapada (2-0) got the final out and earned the win.
Mets first baseman Ike Davis was kept out of the lineup because of possible food poisoning. Davis hit a three-run homer during the Mets' five-run first inning on Friday night...The Yankees are 10-3 in the last 13 meetings with the Mets...Nova was trying to become the AL's first 10-game winner...Ibanez hit his 11th homer of the season but first since June 11...The Mets are 4-4 on a nine-game homestand.