Mike Piazza hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer and Al Leiter outpitched Roger Clemens for the second time in a month, leading the New York Mets over the Yankees, 5-2, last night in the opener of Subway Series Part Two.
In front of a boisterous sellout crowd of 53,820 at Shea Stadium, the Mets evened the season series at 2.
They used the same formula that helped them win the finale at Yankee Stadium on June 6: Leiter pitched brilliantly, and his teammates pounded Clemens (8-3).
After the Yankees tied it at 2 in the sixth, Edgardo Alfonzo opened the bottom of the inning with a bloop single. John Olerud walked and Piazza hit a scorcher into the bleachers in left-center for his 18th homer.
Piazza is 5 for 9 against Clemens with two homers.
"Against certain pitchers, you see the ball well," Piazza said. "No matter how well he throws, I really see the ball well off Roger."
Leiter (8-6) allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings. After starting the season 2-5 with a 6.39 ERA, he has gone 6-1 with a 2.79 ERA.
Clemens yielded nine hits and five runs in six innings.
REDS 3, INDIANS 2: Cincinnati didn't even have to leave Ohio to improve baseball's best road record. Eddie Taubensee singled home two runs in the sixth inning, and Steve Avery and three relievers held Cleveland to four hits.
Since being swept at home by Cleveland last month, the Reds have won 16 of 22 to climb atop the NL Central. They entered the night tied with the Indians for the best road mark in the majors, but with their 23rd win in their last 29 away games, "the Big Road Machine" rolled on.
Avery (6-7) limited the Indians to four hits in 5 1/3 innings before turning it over to the top bullpen in baseball. Stan Belinda, Dennys Reyes and all-star rookie Scott Williamson combined for hitless relief over the final 3 2/3 innings.
"We played them well in Cincy," Reds Manager Jack McKeon said. "They just got a couple more key hits and a little better pitching. When they left town, we realized we can play with them."
WHITE SOX 3, CUBS 2: Rookie Carlos Lee hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the White Sox went to 4-0 this season against their crosstown rivals in Chicago.
The White Sox swept a three-game series at Wrigley Field last month and the Cubs have never recovered. They are 7-17 since and their pitching staff has all but collapsed.
It got worse last night as starter Kevin Tapani left after two innings with a bruised right thumb from fielding a hard hopper back to the mound. Three innings later, his replacement, Matt Karchner, departed with a strained right groin.
RED SOX 5, BRAVES 4: Damon Buford, Mike Stanley and Wilton Veras hit homers, and Bret Saberhagen pitched 6 2/3 innings as Boston won in Atlanta.
Saberhagen (6-2) won his fourth straight start. Tim Wakefield pitched two innings for his 10th save.
The Braves put runners on first and second with one out in the ninth. Bret Boone flied out and, after a double steal, Wakefield struck out Chipper Jones.
Jones homered for the fourth straight game, and has homered in seven of his last eight after going 21 games without connecting.
Still, Jones said he felt helpless facing Wakefield, who throws a knuckleball. "It was like trying to hit a butterfly with a Wiffle bat," Jones said. "You don't know what it's going to do."
RANGERS 7, PADRES 2: In San Diego, Ivan Rodriguez, Ruben Mateo and Royce Clayton homered for Texas.
All three homers came off Woody Williams (4-7), who has allowed seven in his last two starts.
EXPOS 4, BLUE JAYS 3: Vladimir Guerrero hit a game-winning triple in the ninth inning, and Montreal beat visiting Toronto for its first three-game winning streak in nearly a month. Montreal is 7-3 in interleague play this year, including 6-1 at home. The all-Canadian matchup drew only 10,091 to Olympic Stadium, where the Expos are averaging 8,817 in 45 games.
MARLINS 11, DEVIL RAYS 4: In Miami, pitcher Livan Hernandez homered to key a five-run fifth inning and Florida kept beating American League teams by routing Tampa Bay. The Marlins (31-55), with the worst record in the majors, are 7-3 in interleague games this season.
BREWERS 4, TIGERS 1: Milwaukee's Jeromy Burnitz homered over the right field roof at Tiger Stadium and Steve Woodard (10-5) won his sixth straight decision. Burnitz's shot off Nelson Cruz in the sixth was the 36th ball hit out of the stadium.
TWINS 5, PIRATES 4: In Minneapolis, Brad Radke won for the first time in a month, and Torii Hunter and Todd Walker homered against Pittsburgh.
Radke (6-7) had been 0-2 in four starts since beating Cincinnati on June 8, and missed his scheduled turn Sunday because of a strained right groin. He allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings.
ANGELS 9, ROCKIES 6: In Denver, Garret Anderson homered and drove in three runs, and Troy Glaus had two homers for Anaheim.
Chuck Finley (5-9) won for the first time in seven starts since June 2.
ASTROS 6, ROYALS 5: Chris Holt, a starter with a 1-9 record, was used as a closer and needed only one pitch to record the first save of his pro career. He got Mike Sweeney to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded and preserving Houston's victory in Kansas City, Mo.
DODGERS 5, MARINERS 0: Mark Grudzielanek homered and had a career-high four RBI for host Los Angeles. Seattle was shut out for only the second time this season.
ATHLETICS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 2: In Phoenix, Ben Grieve and Matt Stairs homered during a four-run fifth inning for Oakland.
CAPTION: Reds first baseman Sean Casey is waiting to tag out Indians' Kenny Lofton on pickoff. The Reds won the interleague game between the Ohio teams, 3-2.