NEW YORK -- The Yankees got one back from the Mets on Saturday afternoon, thanks to two big swings, one by Carlos Beltran and the other by Brian McCann, and nine innings of solid pitching by Michael Pineda and six -- count 'em! -- six relievers to nail down a 5-0 win and slice a half-game off the Toronto Blue Jays' lead in the AL East, pending the outcome of a later game between the Jays and the Boston Red Sox.
Pineda had an abbreviated day -- Joe Girardi yanked him after 5 1/3 innings with two runners on and one out in the sixth -- but he was picked up by Justin Wilson, Caleb Cotham, Dellin Betances, James Pazos, Chris Martin and Andrew Miller, the closer who was forced into a 5-0 game when the Mets got two infield hits in the ninth. Between the sixth and eighth innings, Wilson, Cotham and Betances combined to strike out seven straight Mets.
Hammered: McCann took a 3-1, 97 mph fastball from Noah Syndergaard, who is known as "Thor," and crushed it nearly to the bridge in deep right-center with a runner on in the sixth inning to extend the Yankees' lead to 5-0. The sellout crowd, momentarily stunned into silence, rebounded with a chant of "Let's go, Blue Jays!"
Welcome back: Beltran hit 149 home runs as a Met so the sight might not have seemed unfamiliar when he drilled an 0-2 pitch from Syndergaard into the right-field seats with two on (Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner, both singles), to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead before there was one out in the first. It was Beltran's 16th home run of the season, eclipsing by one his total for 2015.
Justin time: Pineda allowed a single to the first two batters of the sixth, but Joe Girardi left him in to face Yoenis Cespedes, whom Pineda struck out. Then the manager came to get him, much to the visible disgust of Pineda, and went with lefty Justin Wilson to face lefty Daniel Murphy. After a nine-pitch duel, Wilson wound up walking Murphy to load the bases, but came back to strike out David Wright and PH Juan Uribe, the latter on three pitches, that preserved the Yankees 5-0 lead. Wilson finished his 1 1/3 innings stint with four K's.
Confounded, man! Syndergaard retired nine straight Yankees after Beltran's home run, and the only thing close to a hit was Gardner's drive to left-center that Mets LF Michael Conforto ran down, making a spectacular one-handed grab in full stride on the warning track for the second out of the third inning.
Mob scene: Today's attendance -- 43,630 -- was the second-largest crowd in Citi Field history.