Vientos homers twice, Mets tattoo Cole and hang on to beat Yankees 9-7

Yankees Mets Baseball
New York Mets’ Mark Vientos, right, celebrates wtih Harrison Bader after hitting a home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Vientos hit a pair of solo homers and the New York Mets held off a furious rally by the AL East-leading New York Yankees for a 9-7 win Tuesday night in the first Subway Series game of the season and their 11th victory in 14 games.

Vientos led off the second and fourth innings with home runs off reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole (0-1) for the first multi-homer game of his career. He became the 12th Mets player with at least two long balls in a Subway Series game.

“It feels good to hit two off Joe Schmoe,” Vientos said with a grin. “Gerrit Cole, great pitcher, nothing but respect for him. But a Subway Series game, it’s sick to do it in this game, in this environment, for sure.

Vientos had a chance to match Francisco Lindor’s three-homer game against the Yankees on Sept. 12, 2021, but hit into a fielder’s choice in the fifth and struck out in the seventh.

Vientos wrested the starting third base job from Brett Baty by hitting .333 with five homers in his first 66 at-bats. He hit .211 with one homer in 12 games from June 2-16 but is batting .333 with four homers in his last six games.

“Seems like the league was adjusting to him,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “But his ability to make adjustments that quick — that’s the key at this level. You’re going to go through ups and downs.”

Harrison Bader and Brandon Nimmo also homered off Cole on fastballs clocked at 91 and 93 mph, respectively.

Cole hit 99 mph, but threw 28 pitches in the first inning of his second start of the season after being sidelined by right elbow inflammation in spring training. He gave up at least four homers and recorded no strikeouts for just the second time in 302 career starts.

“Disappointing — I didn’t really give us a good chance to win tonight,” Cole said. “I didn’t execute enough good pitches, Just kind of dug us a hole.”

The four homers by the Mets were one shy of their single-game record against the Yankees, set at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 13, 2018.

“What we’ve been doing for the past couple weeks, month has been awesome and I’m excited to show up to the ballpark every day,” Vientos said.

Dedniel Nuñez (1-0) tossed 2 2/3 innings of one-hit ball in relief of starter David Peterson as the Mets improved to 38-39.

Peterson allowed one run, walked five and struck out eight over 4 1/3 innings. He wriggled out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the first and limited the Yankees to one hit in 14 plate appearances with a runner on base.

“We put him on the ropes in the first inning but we kind of struggled after that,” said Juan Soto, who homered against Peterson in the fifth inning.

Aaron Judge Yankees
Aaron Judge hits a grand slam home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Aaron Judge added an RBI double in the seventh before the Yankees scored five times in the eighth on a pinch-hit single by Austin Wells and Judge’s seventh career grand slam. Reed Garrett retired Gleyber Torres on a groundout and then tossed a 1-2-3 ninth in a non-save situation.

Mets closer Edwin Díaz began a 10-game suspension Tuesday after being ejected against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday for having a foreign substance on hand.

The Yankees (52-29) have won just one of their last six series. They reached the midway point of the season with at least 50 wins for the 16th time since the schedule expanded to 162 games in 1961.

J.D. Davis, who played for the Mets from 2019-22 and was acquired by the Yankees from Oakland on Sunday, went 0-for-3 in his debut.

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