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Ventura wins game with two-run homer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Robin Ventura delivered the biggest blow to the
New York Mets: beating his former team with an extra-inning home
run.

On a night the New York Yankees delivered more punishment to their
intracity rivals with both batted and thrown balls, Ventura's
two-run homer in the 10th inning capped a late rally and dealt the
Mets a crushing 4-2 loss Friday.

"I have no hard feelings with these guys,'' Ventura said. "I
understand the game. They wanted to make a change and they took a
chance. You don't sit there and gloat about it. But I'm glad that
we won.''

After Derek Jeter tied it in the ninth with a two-out single off
Mets closer Armando Benitez, the Yankees won the opener of the
highly anticipated Subway Series in the 10th.

Jorge Posada led off with a line drive off Satoru Komiyama (0-3)
that eluded center fielder Timo Perez for a double. That brought up
Ventura, traded to the Yankees in December as the Mets tried to add
more power to their lineup.

Ventura hit a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right-center -- almost
the same spot he hit his Grand Slam Single against Atlanta in the
2000 NLCS -- for his 16th homer. Ventura has four more homers than
any Met.

"That's Robin. He lulls you to sleep because he's not hitting
well, then he hits one out of the ballpark,'' Mets manager Bobby
Valentine said.

Steve Karsay (3-2) got four outs for the win, retiring Edgardo
Alfonzo with two on and two outs in the ninth to send the game to
extra innings.

The Mets have lost nine of 13 to fall 7 games behind Atlanta in
the NL East.

"We play these guys tough,'' Valentine said. "We just didn't
execute.''

This 4-hour, 36-minute game was quite a warmup for Saturday's
main event, when Roger Clemens comes to Shea Stadium to hit and
pitch for the first time since beaning Mike Piazza and throwing a
shattered bat in his direction two years ago.

There was less intensity than usual for a Subway Series contest
as a steady rain kept many of the 54,069 fans who bought tickets
home and the game was played at an excruciatingly slow pace.

But the late theatrics more than made up for it.

"We can talk all we want about these being regular games but
they're not,'' Yankees reliever Mike Stanton said. "There's a
little bit extra. Both sides are going to bring their 'A' game.''

The Mets sloshed their way to a 2-0 lead after four innings
against Andy Pettitte before Sterling Hitchcock brought a little
excitement to the game in the fifth.

With two outs and a man on first, Hitchcock hit Jeromy Burnitz
in the top of the helmet with a 1-2 pitch. The ball bounced out
toward the pitcher's mound.

Burnitz yelled at Hitchcock as he walked to first base and home
plate umpire Mark Carlson warned both teams. Carlson talked to Mets
starter Steve Trachsel before the start of the sixth inning.

"I don't think he was throwing at his head,'' Valentine said.
"With a man on first, I don't think he was trying to hit him.''

The buildup to this series centered on the question of whether
the Mets would retaliate against Clemens. They did little to get
even for this beaning and the fans weren't happy about it, booing
Trachsel when he didn't hit Jeter to open the sixth.

Burnitz left the game in the seventh inning and is day-to-day.

The Yankees dished out more punishment in the eighth when Jason
Giambi hit a line drive that glanced off pitcher David Weathers'
shoulder and hit him in the cheek for a single. Bernie Williams
followed with an RBI single in the inning to make it 2-1.

The Yankees then tied it in the ninth. Rookie Marcus Thames
doubled with one out in the ninth off Benitez to set up Jeter's
hit.

"I made a good pitch, he hit a good pitch,'' Benitez said.
"There's nothing I can do. Sometimes you come with your good stuff
and you get beat.''

Jeter had been 0-for-7 with six strikeouts in his career against
Benitez before the broken-bat hit.

"If you worry about what you've done in the past, you're going
to be an automatic out,'' Jeter said. "You have to enjoy the
competition and want to be there.''

Pettitte wasn't sharp in his first start after missing two
months with tendinitis in his left elbow. He worked out of a
bases-loaded jam in the first before allowing two runs in a
44-pitch third.

Pettitte walked Alfonzo with the bases loaded and Posada's
passed ball scored the second run. Pettitte allowed two runs -- one
earned -- five hits and three walks in four innings.

"He milked himself early, but he came through it fine
physically,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

The Yankees threatened against Trachsel but couldn't come up
with a key hit when they needed it. They had baserunners on in each
of the first six innings, but were 0-for-10 in that span with
runners on base.

Game notes
Jeter stole a career-high three bases, giving him 15 on the
season. ... The Mets were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring
position. ... Trachsel allowed three hits in 5 2-3 scoreless
innings.