NEW YORK (AP)—Pedro Martinez needed almost as much time to get to Yankee Stadium as he did to beat the Yankees.
After a nearly 3-hour trip through traffic from nearby Westchester, Martinez dominated his old nemesis for eight innings, getting home runs from Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran plus four sacrifice flies as he led the Mets to a 6-4 Subway Series victory Friday night.
“I left at 3:20 thinking, well, I’m going to get there with plenty of time, get in the Jacuzzi, relax, probably watch videos,” Martinez said.
The silver Chevy van he was in didn’t pull up until 6:08 p.m., exactly 1 hour before the first pitch.
“We ended up in the wrong neighborhood, and we got lost,” he said. “We found a couple of policemen in a car that were really nice to bring us over.”
Martinez (8-2) was happy to have a police escort for the final part of the journey.
“If you’re pitching at Yankee Stadium, you’re a special person,” he said.
The Mets, who dropped two of three to the Yankees at Shea Stadium last month, overcame Derek Jeter’s leadoff homer when Ramon Castro, Jose Reyes and Mike Cameron set a National League record by hitting three sacrifice flies in the second inning, a rally fueled when Bernie Williams and Mike Mussina made errors.
Reyes added another sacrifice fly in the ninth as the Mets tied the NL record for sac flies in a game.
“Especially with Pedro pitching, you can’t give things away and we did,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Mets manager Willie Randolph got a victory in his first trip back to Yankee Stadium, where he won two World Series titles as a player and four more as a coach.
“Once the game starts, it feels like what I’ve been doing all year,” Randolph said. “I don’t get all mushy about stuff.”
A sellout crowd of 55,297 was largely quiet as Mussina (8-5) failed to revive the on-and-off Yankees, who have lost four of five after starting their 13-game homestand with six straight wins, dropping 5 1/2 games back of Boston, which took over the AL East lead Friday. There were even cheers of “Let’s go Mets!” in the ninth.
“Anything less than a world championship is a letdown,” the Mets’ Mike Piazza said of the Yankees. “It does make those valleys tougher.”
After going 0-3 in his previous six starts against the Yankees, Martinez was greeted by a “Still Your Daddy!!” sign hanging from the second deck on the third-base side, a reminder of his frustrations against New York while pitching for the Boston Red Sox last year. But by the middle innings the sign was gone.
Martinez allowed two runs and six hits, retiring 15 of 16 batters in a stretch that began when he struck out Williams to end the third and strand two runners.
Alex Rodriguez’s two-out single in the eighth ended that run, and Beltran jumped at the center-field wall to catch Hideki Matsui’s drive, with Martinez raising a fist as Beltran fell to the warning track.
“This is a new chapter, a new team, new expectations, a different job to do,” Martinez said. “As good or as bad as the memories might have been with the Red Sox, it’s not the same. I’m here with a different attitude and actually feeling kind of different.”
Martinez was uncomfortable that Friday’s game was portrayed by some as him against the Yankees.
“All I want is just to beat them when I can. That’s all I want. I don’t want any enemies,” he said.
He would prefer that the media not focus on him.
“I attract more attention from you guys and I don’t understand why,” he said. “To be honest, I dislike you all. I wish I could just live my life and be a regular player like any other. … I don’t like being the icon.”
Mussina, who dropped to 5-2 against the Mets, gave up five runs—four earned—and six hits in six innings. The two homers he allowed raised the total for Yankees’ pitchers to nine in their last four games.
“He’s not an overpowering pitcher, and when he falls behind in the count, it’s tough,” Torre said.
After Jeter’s 14th homer leading off the first inning put the Yankees ahead, the sac flies gave the Mets a 3-1 lead in the second.
Castro’s sacrifice fly to right tied it 1-all as Wright took third. Reyes’ sac fly to center was dropped by Williams, Mussina’s wild pickoff throw to second advanced the runners and Cameron hit a sac fly to right.
Floyd hit his 18th homer in the third, but Rodriguez had an RBI single in the bottom half. Beltran, in a 3-for-27 slide, made it 5-2 in the fifth with his ninth homer. All but one have come in games started by Martinez.
“Another Pedro start, another Beltran homer,” Beltran said with a laugh.
Metallica singer James Hetfield was at the game and met with the Yankees’ Randy Johnson and Mariano Rivera. Johnson and Hetfield are friends, and the Big Unit warms up to music prepared by the band. Rivera warms up to the group’s “Enter Sandman.” … AL teams had three sac flies in an inning on three occasions: Juan Pizarro, Nellie Fox and Al Smith for the Chicago White Sox against Cleveland on July 1, 1962; Jose Vizcaino, Martinez and Williams for the Yankees against Detroit on June 29, 2000; and Jorge Posada, Scott Brosius and Clay Bellinger for the Yankees against Anaheim on Aug. 19, 2000. … Floyd caught Gary Sheffield’s eighth-inning fly to left on the second try after the ball popped out of his glove into the air.