Bay, Santana help Mets hold off Yankees 6-4

NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Bay homered twice off an ineffective CC Sabathia, and the New York Mets held off the slumping New York Yankees 6-4 on Sunday night behind Johan Santana's stellar pitching.

Shut down nearly all night by Santana, the Yankees rallied for three runs in the ninth inning before Francisco Rodriguez struck out Alex Rodriguez on a 3-2 breaking ball with runners at the corners to end it.

Alex Cora, a late addition to the lineup, got the offense started with a two-run single in a four-run second inning and the Mets took two of three at home in Citi Field for their first Subway Series victory since a rain-shortened two-game sweep at old Yankee Stadium in May 2008.

The city rivals meet again in the Bronx from June 18-20.

With a two-run shot in the second and a leadoff drive in the fifth, Bay tripled his home run total in his first season with the Mets, finally flashing the power stroke they had been waiting nearly two months to see.

The All-Star slugger signed a $66 million, four-year contract in the offseason after hitting 36 homers and driving in 119 runs with Boston last year.

Bay broke out against the banged-up Yankees, who have dropped five of six to fall six games back of first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East. He went 4 for 4 and scored three times in Saturday night's 5-3 victory, then followed it up with another perfect night at the plate in front of a Citi Field-record crowd of 41,422.

It was Bay's 14th career multihomer game and first since April 11, 2009, with the Red Sox against the Los Angeles Angels. He began the day batting .345 with four home runs and 22 RBIs against the defending World Series champions.

Bay, who also walked in the first, was hit in the back by a breaking ball from reliever Sergio Mitre in the sixth. Plate umpire Marvin Hudson warned both teams, drawing arguments from Mitre and Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Mets reliever Ryota Igarashi, just off the disabled list, dusted Kevin Russo with a high fastball in the ninth.

Santana (4-2) was sharp from the start in a marquee matchup with Sabathia (4-3), earning his first win in five outings since April 27 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner yielded six singles in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out five and did not go to a three-ball count until walking Nick Swisher with two outs in the seventh.

Francisco Cervelli followed with an RBI single off the top of the wall in the left-field corner, spoiling Santana's shutout bid. Cervelli thought the ball was a home run and umpires went inside for a look at the replay, but upheld the initial call.

Santana was pulled after a pair of walks in the eighth. Pedro Feliciano retired Robinson Cano on a bases-loaded popout to preserve a 6-1 cushion and pounded his glove in delight.

Igarashi gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Juan Miranda before Francisco Rodriguez got two outs for his eighth save in 10 chances.

Derek Jeter greeted K-Rod with a run-scoring double on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, and Brett Gardner hit a slow RBI grounder to third. David Wright threw out the speedy Gardner on a close play, prompting arguments from Gardner and Girardi, who kicked at the dirt near first base.

Mark Teixeira reached on an infield single, setting the stage for the tense matchup of Rodriguez vs. Rodriguez that also lasted eight pitches.

Wright hit an RBI double in the fifth for the Mets, who scored their first four runs with two outs after getting all five with two down Saturday night.

NOTES: Cora filled in at 2B for Luis Castillo, scratched because of his sore left foot. ... Yankees RHP Javier Vazquez is slated to start Thursday night at Minnesota despite a bruised right index finger. Vazquez's bullpen session, however, was pushed back a day to Tuesday to give his finger more time to heal. He bruised the finger while bunting Friday night.