Wigginton’s second homer snapped an eighth-inning tie, Hidalgo connected for the fourth straight game and the Mets finished off their first Subway Series sweep with a 6-5 victory over the Yankees on Sunday.
The surprising Mets took four of six from their crosstown rivals this year after going 0-6 in 2003. It’s the first time they’ve won the season series since interleague play began in 1997.
As Braden Looper got the last three outs in the ninth, Mets fans among the sellout crowd of 55,437 chanted “Sweep! Sweep!” That surely wasn’t the present Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was hoping for on his 74th birthday.
“Those are the games you want to be in as a closer. It’s a lot of fun,” Looper said. “They’ve got the best record in baseball and we just swept ‘em. It says a lot.”
Yankees manager Joe Torre played the game under protest after Jorge Posada was called out for interference when he was hit while running from first to second on Miguel Cairo’s eighth-inning grounder, scored a base hit. Mets first baseman Mike Piazza had dived for the ball in front of Posada.
“He didn’t seem clear on what particularly he was protesting,” crew chief Mike Reilly said. “We were very clear, and we felt we had gotten it 100 percent right. The second baseman still had an opportunity to make a play on the ball before Posada deflected it.”
Bernie Williams homered, had four hits and drove in three runs for the Yankees, who came to Shea Stadium following an emotional three-game sweep of Boston. The Yankees outhit the Mets 16-8.
“There’s no excuses,” Gary Sheffield said. “Those guys played well. They played better than we did.”
Orber Moreno (2-1) got the win despite giving up Posada’s tying single in the eighth.
Wigginton hit a two-run shot in the second to put the Mets ahead 3-0, but the bullpen blew a pair of leads. With the score tied at 5, Wigginton sent a drive over the left-field fence off Tom Gordon (2-3) leading off the eighth for his 10th homer this season, his third in two games.
“I really just tried to concentrate on getting one up in the zone that I could drive,” Wigginton said.
Hidalgo then homered off Felix Heredia in the seventh to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.
“Hidalgo’s just crushing the ball,” Looper said. “I tell you what, we’ve got a fun team to watch.”
Looper finished for his 16th save in 18 chances, pushing the Mets two games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 3, 2002. They have won four in a row and 13 of 19 overall.
The Mets had never done better than a split of the season series against the Yankees, much less a sweep of any individual series. But they scored 27 runs the past three days and everything went their way—Piazza even turned a 3-6-3 double play in the second inning.
“This was a great weekend for us. That’s a great team over there. They eyeballed us, but there was no leeway,” Mets manager Art Howe said. “I think we sent a message to the rest of baseball that we’re starting to swing it.”
Jeter, still playing with a bandage on his chin and a welt on his face from his fearless dive into the stands Thursday night, went 3-for-5 to raise his average to a season-high .278.
Alex Rodriguez was 0-for-4 and has just one hit in his last 21 at-bats, dropping his average to .273.
“We’re not drained. We just made some mistakes. We have to pitch better,” Posada said.
Hidalgo tied a Mets record by homering in his fourth straight game, accomplished eight times before. He also connected in four consecutive games Sept. 19-22, 2000, with Houston.
Hidalgo, who has six homers in his past seven games, batted .524 (11-for-21) with five home runs and eight RBIs against the Yankees this season.
“I just enjoyed playing those games,” he said.
The Mets built a 4-1 lead against Javier Vazquez, who walked a season-high five in five innings.
Piazza hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and the Mets went ahead 3-0 on Wigginton’s first home run. Williams’ 10th homer, off Jae Seo, cut it to 3-1 in the third.
A throwing error by Rodriguez at third base helped the Mets score an unearned run in the bottom half on Jason Phillips’ sacrifice fly
Cairo scored from second on Williams’ RBI single off Wigginton’s glove at second base in the fifth.
The Yankees tied it at 4 by scoring two runs on four consecutive singles in the seventh. Williams and Jeter each had an RBI.
“I was impressed by the way they came back,” Jeter said. “As many timesas we came back, they kept coming back, too.”
Wigginton had first career multihomer game. … Mets SS Kaz Matsui made his 17th error but turned three double plays. … The Yankees lead the Mets26-16 in the interleague series.