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The Wright stuff: 3B rallies Mets past Mo, Yanks in 9th

NEW YORK (AP) -- David Wright turned around Mariano Rivera's
cutter, and Johnny Damon turned and ran toward the center-field
wall. He never caught up.

Wright's RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth
inning capped a comeback from a four-run deficit against Randy
Johnson and gave the Mets a thrilling 7-6 victory over the Yankees
on Friday night in the first Subway Series game of the year.

"There's nothing better," Wright said. "New York's the
greatest baseball stage."

Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer in the first and Xavier
Nady hit a two-run drive in the third off the Big Unit, tying the
game at 5. That charged up the raucous sellout crowd of 56,289,
with Mets' and Yankees' fans exchanging cheers and insults right
until Wright's ball landed on the warning track.

"Not too many guys do that against Mariano," Mets manager
Willie Randolph said. "He's the best."

Johnson gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings, and the
earned-run average of the 42-year-old left-hander is up to 5.62.

"I'm not too old. My stuff's not that bad. I'm not dominating
right now. It's a very humbling game," he said. "I'm making the
wrong pitch at the wrong time."

He has allowed four runs or more in five straight starts for the
first time in his major league career, according to the Elias
Sports Bureau.

"Each Randy start, I get more concerned," said Yankees manager
Joe Torre, who thinks bad outings are weighing on the Big Unit.

On a night when Mets starter Jeremi Gonzalez got just nine outs,
Darren Oliver, Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner (3-0) combined for
six innings of shutout, two-hit relief. They retired the Yankees'
final 16 batters -- striking out eight and allowing just one ball
out of the infield. Wagner struck out Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez
and Kelly Stinnett in the ninth.

"You just feel like the momentum was shifting," Wright said.

While the NL East-leading Mets played Metallica's "Enter
Sandman" when Wagner came in, they didn't play it three outs later
when Rivera (1-3) entered -- it's also his theme song.

One pitch after hitting the dirt when Rivera came inside, Paul
Lo Duca doubled down the left-field line to put a runner on second
with one out.

Beltran struck out on three pitches, and left-handed-hitting
Carlos Delgado was intentionally walked to bring up the
right-handed Wright.

"Definitely, it sticks with you," Wright said. "You want to
make the other team pay."

Wright remembered back to Wednesday, when he struck out against
St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen with the bases loaded
and one out in the ninth, a game the Mets lost 1-0.

He fell behind in the count 1-2, took a ball, then drove the
next pitch over Damon.

"The way Johnny covers ground out there, you never know,"
Wright said. "As he kind of turned and ran, I kind of had a clue
that either he was going to make a miraculous play or it was going
to bounce."

Both teams are pretty banged up heading into the final two
games.

With outfielders Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield and Bubba Crosby
sidelined, and pitcher Carl Pavano needing surgery to remove a bone
chip above his right elbow, the Yankees had even more injury news.

Catcher Jorge Posada left in the second inning because of a sore
upper back that prevented him from throwing to second, outfielder
Bernie Williams won't start Saturday because of a tight buttocks
muscle and Kyle Farnsworth came out after one inning Friday because
of lower back soreness.

Run-scoring singles by Derek Jeter and Rodriguez, and RBI
doubles by Robinson Cano and Williams built the 4-0 lead in the
first -- which ended when Gonzalez struck out Johnson.

After Robinson Cano hit a sacrifice fly in the third, the Big
Unit had a two-out, infield single that loaded the bases -- a ball
that shortstop Jose Reyes knocked down with a dive and prevented
from becoming an RBI single.

Damon followed with an inning-ending flyout and, after Stinnett
made it 6-5 with an RBI single in the fourth, the Yankees left the
bases loaded again when Melky Cabrera grounded out. Williams, the
previous batter, was held to an infield single when Reyes again
dove to keep a ball in the infield.

"Those are huge plays," Randolph said. "You have to keep the
ball in the infield."

Kaz Matsui retied it in the fifth with an RBI single off
Johnson.

All the while, Wright was enjoying the scene in the stands.

"The fans came out in full force. They're battling against each
other. Just the energy. I think the players feed off the energy,"
he said. "You can say as much as you want that it's just another
game -- I guess in the win-loss column, it is just another game --
but there's definitely a lot more energy and there's definitely a
lot more adrenaline flowing."

Game notes
Yankees catcher Jorge Posada left after 1½ innings with tightness in his upper back. Posada was hit hard Tuesday by the Texas Rangers' Mark Teixeira in a home plate collision. ... Jeter's fourth-inning double was his 200th hit in regular-season interleague play. ... Williams hit his 425th double, passing Babe Ruth for sole possession of third place among Yankees.