Carlos Rodon posts 1st solid Yankees outing in 3-1 win over Mets

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Carlos Rodon Yankees
New York Yankees’ Carlos Rodon celebrates after striking out New York Mets’ Pete Alonso during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

BRONX — That looked more like the Carlos Rodon that the Yankees signed to a six-year, $162 million deal over the winter.

The Bronx’s southpaw had his best start yet as a Yankee — just his fourth with the team after an injury-riddled spring — earning his first win and limiting the Mets to just one run on five hits over 5.2 innings of work with four strikeouts and three walks. With it, he eased tensions that came with a rocky start to his tenure in the form of a 7.36 ERA over his first three outings with the club.

“It was nice to hear the fans happy with the performance,” Rodon said. “Just glad I got something to build off of and the defense today, some hard balls hit they made some plays for me.”

It also ensured a Subway Series split after the Yankees (54-48) dropped the opener of the two-game set on Tuesday night.

“I think it’s meaningful. It’s not been an easy road here since spring training and trying to get back,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Rodon’s first win. “I think that’s hurt because he wants to be out there. He knows he was brought here to be a big, big part of this team and it took longer for him to get back than he would have liked and I think that ate at him a lot but he’s here now and hopefully, he continues to build momentum off this one.”

He got the win over fellow New York debutant and left-hander Jose Quintana, who put together a second-straight solid outing after making his Mets and season debut last week. He went six, allowing three runs (two earned) with five strikeouts and three walks.

Quintana dealt with an abundance of traffic early, working around two singles to lead off the first to emerge unscathed. He wasn’t so lucky in the second when he loaded the bases with no outs.

He struck out Kyle Higashioka for the first out, but Oswald Peraza’s slow roller brought in the opening run while Mets third baseman Mark Vientos’ throw to get the force at second was too late to keep the bases loaded.

“I don’t think he had a play, period,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said of Vientos. “

Isaiah Kiner-Falefa brought in Harrison Bader home on a short fly ball to right — the athletic center fielder eluding the tag of catcher Francisco Alvarez despite the throw from Jeff McNeil, who made a sliding catch, beating him to the plate.

“The big thing with that obviously I saw kind of like a bloop or so,” Bader began. “I was just saying to myself if he slides, I’m gonna go. I’m just gonna make him make a play. Playing in the outfield I know how difficult it is to kind of slide, transfer and make an accurate throw. So yeah, I’m just waiting for him to slide and he did I just let it eat.”

The Mets (47-54) pulled one back off Rodon in the top of the third thanks to an Alvarez single and a Danny Mendick double to lead it off. Alvarez came in to score on Brandon Nimmo’s sacrifice fly. With two outs and two men on, the suddenly-scorching Alonso rocketed a 110-mph line drive to left field, but Kiner-Falefa was there to make the grab.

“We had a couple of flares fall in yesterday, too,” Showalter said. “It never seems to even out but you don’t dwell on it…We had a couple of opportunities there against Rodon but didn’t cash them in.”

Another Vientos issue at third allowed the hosts to regain a two-run lead in the fourth. He threw wildly on a Bader slow roller up the line that allowed the Yankee to advance to second. He came around to score on an Anthony Volpe single one batter later.

Harrison Bader Yankees
New York Yankees’ Harrison Bader gestures to teammates after he advanced to second base on a throwing error by New York Mets’ Mark Vientos during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Rodon ran into trouble in the fifth when he put runners on first and second with one out, but got Francisco Lindor to line out before striking out Alonso with a curveball — prompting a roar of satisfaction from the southpaw as he walked off the mound.

“Honestly I love it,” Bader said of Rodon’s emotions. “It’s most important regardless of what that looks like. It’s just to be yourself on the field and kind of let that energy come out as a result of your work. If that’s his version of doing that, then so be it but we support him whenever he does.”

McNeil, who was hit by a high Rodon fastball in the fourth, came up with another web gem in the bottom of the fifth when he robbed a lead-off home run from Gleyber Torres with a leaping catch at the wall to keep the Mets within two.

“I was going back and I knew I was going to probably be right at the wall,” McNeil said. “I timed it well and made the catch. It’s a short porch over there. Just happy I made the play.”

The Mets however, would get no closer as a Yankees bullpen combination of Michael King, Wandy Peralta, Tommy Kahnle, and Clay Holmes finished things off without allowing a hit.

For more on the Mets and Yankees, visit AMNY.com