Bronx, NY —After signing Carlos Rodón to a $162 million, six-year deal as a free agent in December. The two-time All-Star missed the three months of the season because of forearm and back injuries —came back and lost his first three starts.
Fans were getting anxious about when Rodón was going to pay dividends for the Bronx Bombers.
Rodón pitched well and earned his first victory in four starts with Yankees (54-48) got some help from Harrison Bader in beating the their cross-town rivals the New York Mets (47-54) 3-1 on Wednesday night for a two-game split of their Subway Series in front of a sell-out crowd of 46,761.
Rodón allowed one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He lobbied to stay in the game, but manager Aaron Boone had already made his decision.
“I would have taken it about three starts ago, but I guess it’s nice to have it now,” Rodón said. “It’s good to get that first one out of the way. It’s something I want to build off.”
Bader had a great game with three hits and scored twice for the Bombers was a nuisance and irritant for lefty pitcher José Quintana.
With one out in the second, Anthony Volpe got a nice lead and barely beating third baseman Mark Vientos throw to second on Oswald Peraza’s grounder. Bader took off from third with a headfirst dive on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s shallow sacrifice fly to right field, where McNeil made a nice sliding catch before throwing a rope to the plate.
Brandon Nimmo had a sacrifice fly in the third inning, but Rodón squashed the inning by retiring Pete Alonso on a line drive to left field with two runners aboard.
Rodón had Alonso number, striking him out with two on to end the fifth. Alonso, who was a Yankees killer had two home runs and five RBI’s in the series opener, went 0 for 4 with two K’s.
After getting hit in the back by a fastball from Rodón, Mets right fielder Jeff McNeill made a couple of great catches — robbing Gleyber Torres of a home run with a leaping grab in the fifth inning.
Reliever Clay Holmes came in the ninth inning for his 14th save in 17 chances, giving the Bombers four-game split of the season series with the Mets.
“A really big outing for him and us,” Boone said. “It’s not been an easy road here since spring training and trying to get back. 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.”
Quintana (0-2) was charged with three runs — two earned — and six hits over six innings in his second start for the Mets. The veteran left-hander missed the first 3 1/2 months of the season following rib surgery.
Mets: RF Starling Marte(migraines) is feeling better and working out, Showalter said he doesn’t anticipate the team activating Marte from the injured list Thursday when he becomes eligible because his wife is due to give birth very soon. Tommy Pham. (groin) was back in the lineup at DH after sitting out Tuesday.
Mets: Return home to Citi Field for a four-game series against the Washington Nationals. In a matchup of All-Star pitchers, rookie RHP Kodai Sengs (7-5, 3.27 ERA) starts Thursday night versus Nationals RHP Josiah Gray (7-8, 3.45).
Yankees: Following an off day, RHP Gerrit Cole (9-2, 2.78 ERA) goes Friday night in the opener of a three-game series with Baltimore.