By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Eduardo Nunez is on such a roll in the Subway
Series that the New York Yankees hardly miss Derek Jeter.
On the other side at Citi Field, the Mets looked lifeless
without Jose Reyes.
Nunez homered in his latest big game at the plate and Bartolo
Colon came off the disabled list to pitch six shutout innings,
leading the Yankees past the Mets 5-2 on Saturday for their season-best seventh consecutive victory.
“You’ve got to feel good with where we are right now,” Mark
Subbing at shortstop for the injured Jeter, Nunez is 7 for 8
with a homer and three doubles in the first two games of the
weekend series. But his time in the spotlight appears to be running
Jeter went 1 for 2 with a walk in his first rehab game with
Double-A Trenton on Saturday night and is expected to rejoin the
Yankees on Monday in Cleveland.
“I feel great right now. I feel better when I play every day,”
Nunez said. “But we can make adjustments. When Jeter is coming
back, I have to make adjustments.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he will continue to try to get
Nunez steady at-bats by resting his infielders regularly,
especially with hot weather on the way.
The Yankees are 14-3 since the 37-year-old Jeter, stuck in a
season-long slump, went on the disabled list with a strained right
calf. Nunez, 24, has started all 17 of those games, batting .339
with two homers, five doubles and seven RBIs.
“He’s played well,” Jeter said in Trenton, N.J. “He’s done a
Girardi chuckled when asked if his team is better with Nunez or
Jeter starting at shortstop.
“Nuni has played well, but Derek’s our shortstop. I mean, he’s
been the shortstop for a long, long time and has been a great
player and he’s still a great player,” Girardi said. “We’re
looking forward to getting him back. My hope is these next two days
go well and we get him back and get him rolling like he can. But
Derek is the guy that has always been there for us and he’ll
continue to be there for us.”
Reyes left after two innings with tightness in his left
hamstring, taking the starch out of the suddenly slumping Mets.
After setting a club record by scoring 52 runs in a four-game
stretch, they have managed only five while losing their past three.
Leading the majors in hitting, Reyes was scheduled for an MRI on
Sunday morning and it appears likely he will miss the series
“It’s not too much pain. I feel it a little bit,” Reyes said.
“I didn’t want to blow my hamstring again because I’ve been
through a lot with that.”
Held scoreless for the first five innings, the Yankees touched
up rookie Dillon Gee (8-2) with four straight sharp hits in a
four-run sixth before a Citi Field-record crowd of 42,042.
Curtis Granderson lifted a 1-2 pitch to right for his 22nd home
run before Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez singled. Robinson Cano
ripped a two-run triple into the right-field corner, cracking a
wide smile as he stood on third, and Nick Swisher followed with a
Nunez added a solo homer off Tim Byrdak in the ninth to make it
5-0. Nunez also had a pair of doubles after going 4 for 4 with an
RBI in Friday night’s 5-1 victory.
The only time the Mets retired him it took a spectacular, diving
catch by second baseman Justin Turner.
“Should have been 8 for 8. And if that catch isn’t made, that
might have been a triple,” Teixeira said. “This is an impressive
two days for him in his first starts in the Subway Series.”
The sixth-inning outburst provided more than enough support for
the 38-year-old Colon (6-3), who picked up right where he left off
in his first start since June 11. The husky right-hander strained
his left hamstring in a 4-0 victory over Cleveland while covering
first base on a groundout.
Colon was on his game from the outset in this one, setting down
13 in a row after Reyes reached on an infield single to start the
Throwing 95 mph fastballs with his revitalized arm, the 2005 AL
Cy Young Award winner struck out six and walked none. He gave up
five hits, four singles, and clapped his pitching hand into his
glove after escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fifth when Gee
bounced into a double play.
“I feel really good,” Colon said through a translator. “That
happened to me before when I went to the DL. So every time I come
back, I pitch the same way.”
Colon is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his last four starts, holding
his opponent scoreless three times.
“He’s kind of surprised us all year long in a sense,” Girardi
said. “We weren’t sure what we were going to get out of him in
spring training and he just continued to pitch well, and that’s
what he did today.”
Cory Wade tossed two scoreless innings and Sergio Mitre gave up
RBI groundouts to Jason Bay and Lucas Duda in the ninth.
Reyes felt tightness in his hamstring while beating out his
infield single in the first and the Mets said he was removed as a
precaution in the top of the third.
“I’m concerned about it, obviously. You sensed it not only in
the dugout, you sensed it in the stands. The air came out of the
bubble,” manager Terry Collins said. “Right now, we’ll wait until
tomorrow to see what it is and then we’ll reassess what we’re going
to do to replace him. I’m sure once we hear from the doctor what’s
going to go on, we’ll make some decisions.”
Reyes has been one of baseball’s best players this season. He
began the day leading the majors with a .352 batting average, 123
hits and 15 triples. He also led the NL with 65 runs scored. The
speedy switch-hitter can become a free agent after the World
Reyes has a history of leg injuries that limited the leadoff man
to 53 games in 2004 and 36 games in 2009, but he said this is the
first problem he’s had with his left hamstring.
“Every time I injure my leg, I have to be worried because it’s
my leg. Legs are a big part of my game,” Reyes said. “Hopefully,
the MRI will show no damage tomorrow and I’ll be fine in a couple
NOTES: Yankees RHP Carlos Silva was released at
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … The Yankees are 24-4 in day games, the
best record in the majors. … Ruben Tejada replaced Reyes at
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)