It was a breakout game in many ways for the “core” Mets players on offense.

Behind Mike Pelfrey’s strong outing of six innings, one run, six hits, and five strikeouts, were Jason Bay getting four hits and David Wright getting two RBI singles.

Phil Hughes was on the mound for the Yankees, and for the second consecutive outing he struggled.

In the first inning, after getting two outs, Hughes hit a bump in the road. Jason Bay doubled, Ike Davis walked, and Wright and Angel Pagan followed with two RBI singles. David Wright was thrown out at third after Pagan’s hit to end the inning.

Wright drove in a run with another single in the third, scoring Bay, who had three runs scored.

Cruising along, having pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, Pelfrey ran into a two-out rally of the Yankees in the sixth. Francisco Cervelli knocked in a run with a single, scoring Robinson Cano, cutting the Yankees deficit to 3-1.

The Mets responded with a run of their own in their sixth as Alex Cora, pinch-hitting, singled in Angel Pagan, who led off the inning with a double that Randy Winn misread in left field.

The Mets tacked on a run on an RBI double by Angel Pagan in the seventh, extending their lead to 5-1.

Jenrry Mejia came in in the seventh and put the first two men he faced on. He would come back to retire Gardner, Teixeira, and Rodriguez to escape trouble, holding a four-run lead.

Things got a little interesting in the eighth. Pedro Feliciano, pitching for the Mets, loaded the bases with no outs. After a strikeout, Fernando Nieve walked in a run.

So, with a 5-2 lead, Mets manager Jerry Manuel opted to bring in closer Francisco Rodriguez for a five-out save. Rodriguez had done that successfully earlier in the season against the Cubs. He allowed a run on a fielder’s choice ground out but then retired Brett Gardner to keep the score at 5-3.

Coming back in for the ninth, Rodriguez had to earn the save against the Yankees’ heart of the order (Teixeira-Rodriguez-Cano). He gave up hits to Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher, but ended the game with a strikeout of Francisco Cervelli.

The Mets, with the win, avoid a disastrous sweep potential, and can actually take the series tomorrow night with a couple of aces going.

There were a lot of rumors that if the Mets were to get swept in this series, Jerry Manuel might get fired. Although Manuel downplayed the rumors, he showed his nervousness by bringing in his closer for a five-out save.

Thankfully for the Mets, Rodriguez bailed his manager out.

Series probable pitchers:
May 23
New York Mets: Johan Santana (2010: 3-2, 3.72 ERA) vs. New York Yankees: CC Sabathia (2010: 4-2, 3.43 ERA)

Upcoming schedule:
New York Mets:
May 23 vs. New York Yankees
May 25-27 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

New York Yankees:
May 23 @ New York Mets
May 25-27 @ Minnesota Twins

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