Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Yankees 1

What it means: The Mets grabbed Game 1 in this year's Subway Series, thanks to some late-inning heroics on Memorial Day.

They got a very well-pitched game from Jonathon Niese, and tallied single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory at Citi Field.

The Mets win their second in a row and improve to 19-29 -- in fourth place in the National League East, 10½ games behind first-place Atlanta. The Yankees fall to 30-20 -- in second place in the American League East, a half-game behind first-place Boston.

At the plate: Yankees starter Phil Hughes had a 5.51 ERA entering Monday's game, but the Mets collected just four hits off him -- two of them singles by their starting pitcher, Niese. The other two were by David Wright -- a first-inning triple (he was left stranded), and a solo homer in the seventh, tying the game, 1-1.

Mike Baxter ignited the Mets' game-winning rally with a one-out double in the eighth off Yankees setup man David Robertson. The next batter, Jordany Valdespin (pinch-hitting for Niese), walked, and then Valdespin and Baxter advanced to second and third on a passed ball by Chris Stewart. Baxter was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to second by Ruben Tejada. But then Daniel Murphy delivered the biggest hit of the game -- a hard single to center field, driving home Valdespin.

On the mound: Niese had arguably his best outing of the season, although he didn't get a win. He held the Yankees scoreless for the first five innings, giving up just three hits -- all singles -- during that span. In the top of the sixth, Brett Gardner led off and hit a bloop fly down the left-field line -- the weak-fielding Lucas Duda dived for it but came up short, allowing Gardner to reach third base. Jayson Nix drove Gardner home with a soft single to right field.

That was the only blemish on Niese's résumé -- he went seven innings, giving up one run on eight hits, with four strikeouts and one walk. He remains 3-5, but his ERA dropped to 4.40.

Brandon Lyon pitched a scoreless eighth. And after the Mets took the lead in the bottom of that frame, closer Bobby Parnell entered the game. Ichiro Suzuki reached on a one-out walk, but Parnell got pinch hitter Travis Hafner to pop to short to end the game.

Web gems: With the Yanks up 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, the Mets had a runner on first and two outs. Murphy drove a ball over the wall in left-center field, which would have given the Mets a 2-1 lead. But Gardner made a gorgeous leaping grab right in front of the 385-foot sign, preserving the Yankees' lead.

On the other side, Wright made a couple of sparkling plays at third base -- including a beautiful snag in the top of the eighth, igniting a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Back to earth: A day after getting two hits against the Braves, including the game-winning single, Ike Davis struck out in all three of his plate appearances.

What's next: The second of two at Citi Field, before the Subway Series shifts to the Bronx on Wednesday. The pitching matchup is the best of the week. It'll be 24-year-old Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.93) for the Mets, opposed by 38-year-old Hiroki Kuroda (6-3, 2.67) for the Yankees, first pitch at 7:10 p.m.