The Yankees look to continue their torrid hitting when they renew their crosstown rivalry with the Mets in the opener of this three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
The Yankees (23-19) are trying to win four in a row for the first time since an eight-game run from Aug. 28-Sept. 4. They’ve hit .318 with four homers and outscored opponents 23-5 in their three victories after dropping 10 of 13.
The Yankees were outstanding at the plate again in Thursday’s 13-2 win at Baltimore, collecting 14 hits with eight going for extra bases, including two homers.
Now, they’ll try to carry that momentum into the first of six season meetings with the Mets (21-22), who have won nine of 13.
“Being a (former) player, I understand how important (the matchup) is to the city,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the team’s official website. “It’s amazing to me. It’s kind of like a playoff atmosphere to me, because of the senses of all the fans.”
The Mets strong play of late is mostly due to a 2.77 staff ERA that has overcome a .228 batting average. They have posted consecutive shutouts, including Thursday’s 1-0 victory over Washington.
The Mets and Yankees split six meetings last year with each club taking two of three at home.
“I want them to experience the whole thing,” first-year manager Terry Collins told the Mets’ official website of the Subway Series. “I mean, they have to learn how to grow in it. They’ve got to learn how to see it and deal with it. And I haven’t been a part of it. I really don’t know what to tell them except ‘Go play.’”
The Mets were a franchise-best 13-5 in interleague play last year, while the Yankees won 11 of 18 versus the NL - six of nine at home.
R.A. Dickey(notes) (1-5, 5.08) came up big for the Mets against the AL last season, winning all three of his starts in 2010 behind a 1.29 ERA. However, this will be his first taste of the Subway Series, and he hasn’t faced the Yankees since a relief appearance with Minnesota on July 9, 2009.
The right-handed knuckleballer is 0-5 with a 5.76 ERA in eight games, and he struggled again Saturday, giving up four first-inning runs and six overall along with and 11 hits - two homers - in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-3 loss at Houston.
“I just need to keep the ball down,” Dickey said. “Having my knuckleball have that late movement on it I think will really combat a lot of those home runs.”
The right-hander surrendered five runs and two homers in Sunday’s 7-5 loss to Boston.
He hasn’t faced the Mets since a loss with Philadelphia on April 17, 2007, and he went 2-1 with a 6.55 ERA in four interleague starts with the Chicago White Sox last year.
Justin Turner(notes) has been a surprise for the Mets, batting .400 with four doubles, one homer and 10 RBIs in six games. He’s played the last three at third for the injured David Wright(notes) (back).