By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Aaron Judge launched a titanic homer, Didi Gregorius snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run double and the New York Yankees beat the Mets 5-3 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory in the Subway Series.
After taking the first two matchups in the Bronx this week, the Yankees kept up their winning ways when the crosstown rivalry shifted to Queens. Judge enjoyed his first game at Citi Field, hitting a solo drive into the rarely reached third deck in left.
Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes never even budged as Judge’s AL-leading 37th home run, projected at 457 feet, soared way over his head.
The rookie slugger also singled and scored on Chase Headley’s sacrifice fly. But he struck out in the ninth inning to extend a dubious streak: Judge has fanned in 33 consecutive games, three shy of the record for a position player set by Adam Dunn from 2011-2012.
Rene Rivera homered for the Mets (53-65), who dropped 12 games under .500 for the first time since finishing 74-88 in 2013. They’ll try to prevent a four-game sweep by the Yankees in the series finale Thursday night.
Tommy Kahnle (2-3) retired both batters he faced in the sixth for his first win with the Yankees. David Robertson struck out two in a hitless ninth for his 14th save, and first since rejoining the Yankees. Regular closer Aroldis Chapman received a night off after his hamstring tightened up Tuesday.
Robertson and Kahnle arrived in the same trade with the Chicago White Sox last month.
With the score tied at 3, the Yankees loaded the bases in the seventh on Ronald Torreyes’ leadoff double and consecutive walks by Paul Sewald (0-5). Judge popped up for the second out of the inning before Gregorius lined a double into the right-field corner.
Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud each had a sacrifice fly for the Mets.
In his first start off the disabled list, Mets rookie Robert Gsellman was charged with three runs _ two earned _ and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Jaime Garcia also went 5 1/3 innings during his third start for the Yankees. He allowed three runs and five hits.
Yankees: CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) threw a 25-pitch bullpen and said he felt “really good.” The left-hander is expected to come off the disabled list and start Saturday in Boston. Sabathia said he’s going back to the old knee brace he wore before switching to a newer model. “Just because it wasn’t hurting when I had the old one,” he said. … RHP Masahiro Tanaka (shoulder inflammation) threw on flat ground and is scheduled for a bullpen session Thursday, manager Joe Girardi said. If everything goes well, Tanaka will likely come off the DL during next week’s series in Detroit. … Girardi gave Chapman the night off, but said the scuffling reliever remains his closer. The left-hander said Wednesday his hamstring was fine, according to Girardi, but the team wanted to put him through some paces to make sure. “I have a ton of confidence in him,” Girardi said. … All-Star setup man Dellin Betances also was unavailable after pitching three straight days. … 1B Greg Bird (ankle surgery) began his rehab assignment at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Mets: 3B Wilmer Flores and 2B Jose Reyes were scratched from the lineup nearly 90 minutes before the game, both with a sore left rib cage. Asdrubal Cabrera was inserted at second, and d’Arnaud was shifted from catcher to third base. It was d’Arnaud’s first professional appearance at third _ though he spent much of the game playing second. The Mets flip-flopped Cabrera and d’Arnaud some 23 times depending on the batter and baserunners, hoping to keep the ball away from d’Arnaud. They were largely successful _ his only chance in the field was a popup to second that he caught with a grin in the ninth. … RHP Matt Harvey (shoulder) tossed three scoreless innings of one-hit ball in his second rehab outing for Class A Brooklyn. Harvey struck out three, walked none and threw 26 of 36 pitches for strikes.
In the series finale Thursday night, Yankees RHP Luis Severino (9-5, 3.32 ERA) tries to bounce back from a terrible outing against Boston when he faces struggling lefty Steven Matz (2-6, 5.54) and the Mets.
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