Ponson silences Delgado, pitches Yanks to DH split

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NEW YORK (AP)—Two ballparks, two blowouts. Call it even.

Sidney Ponson pitched a gem in his return to the New York Yankees, silencing Carlos Delgado and the rest of the New York Mets for a 9-0 victory Friday night and a split of their two-stadium doubleheader.

Delgado dominated the day game at Yankee Stadium. He set a Mets record with nine RBIs and hit a grand slam for one of his two homers in a 15-6 win that lasted 3 hours, 54 minutes.

“You have to be able to respond,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

His team did just that.

After both squads got police escorts for their rush-hour bus trips to Shea Stadium, Bobby Abreu went 4-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs as the Yankees enjoyed a rout of their own.

Ponson outpitched Pedro Martinez with six shutout innings, and the Bronx Bombers broke loose in Queens for their first win in four Subway Series games this season.

“It was a big start for us tonight,” Girardi said. “He gave us everything we needed.”

Robinson Cano homered and drove in three runs for the Yankees, who have won 10 of 14 overall. Derek Jeter extended his season-high hitting streak to 15 games with an RBI double off the center-field fence.

With a history of off-the-field trouble, Ponson pitched well for Texas this season but was cut for being a disruption to the team.

Missing three injured starters, the Yankees signed him to a minor league deal last week and he made one four-inning start at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before drawing a big assignment against the crosstown rival Mets.

Ponson (5-1) certainly delivered after the Mets apparently used up all their big hits in the opener. The beefy right-hander, who pitched briefly for the Yankees in 2006, pumped his fist after wriggling out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the second.

He loaded the bases in the third, too, then escaped again when Ramon Castro grounded sharply into an inning-ending double play.

“It’s a fresh start,” Ponson said. “I’m more comfortable here.”

The Yankees soon got to Martinez (2-2), who allowed six runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings while dropping his second consecutive start.

“I’m just not doing my job and that’s something to worry about. It’s time for me for getting better, not getting worse. I’ve got to make some adjustments,” Martinez said. “The health is there. It’s not physically, it’s got to be mechanically.”

Ponson pitched around five hits and four walks, one intentional. Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Veras and Kei Igawa completed the eight-hitter.

After the Yankees left a season-worst 14 runners on base in the opener, the Mets stranded eight in the first three innings of the nightcap.

Still, Girardi wouldn’t commit to another start for Ponson.

“We haven’t had a chance to talk about it,” he said. “I’m actually going to go home to sleep and then I’ll make some decisions.”

This was the third time the teams played a two-stadium doubleheader. The Yankees swept the other two (July 2000 and June 2003).

Luis Castillo scored a career-best five runs for the Mets in the day game, a makeup of a May 16 rainout.

Delgado got a huge ovation before his first plate appearance at Shea, but finished 0-for-2 with two walks.

Slumping all season, Delgado hit a two-run double off Edwar Ramirez in the fifth inning of the opener and his 12th career slam in the sixth, a long drive against Ross Ohlendorf that landed in one of the last rows of bleachers in right-center. Delgado added a three-run homer in the eighth off LaTroy Hawkins, a shot into a corridor beyond the right-field wall.

“I got lucky,” said Delgado, who turned 36 on Wednesday. “Every time I came up it seems like they had a lot of guys on base so I got some good pitches to hit and I was able to drive them.”

Delgado’s nine RBIs were one better than Dave Kingman’s total for the Mets in an 11-0 victory at the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 4, 1976. Delgado’s 44th multihomer game gave him 444 career home runs, breaking a tie with Kingman for 34th place.

Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer, scored four runs and drove in three as the Mets swept a season series at Yankee Stadium for the first time. David Wright tied a career high with four hits and had three RBIs.

The rainout last month led to the two-borough commute in the last year of both ballparks. The Mets dressed at Shea Stadium on Friday morning and their bus got a police escort to the Bronx. Both teams got the same treatment for the 20-minute trip back to Queens.

The Mets arrived back at home about 1 hour, 20 minutes before the 8:10 p.m. game, with most players still in their gray road uniforms and carrying equipment as they made their way to their clubhouse. The Yankees arrived around 25 minutes later, dressed in street clothes.

Girardi hustled down the corridor to deliver his lineup card to the home clubhouse.

“It was rushed. We got here at 7:15. They were still unpacking bags at 7:40, 7:45. Guys were scrambling to put their unis on, grabbing something to eat,” said Girardi, whose team returned to New York after midnight early Friday following Thursday night’s rainout in Pittsburgh.

“It almost felt like when you’re in high school or a summer league team in a sense, where you’re just scrambling to play the second game.”

Alex Rodriguez went 3-for-4 in the opener with a long home run for the Yankees that landed in Monument Park. Dan Giese (1-3) allowed six runs in four-plus innings.

Mike Pelfrey (5-6) struggled through five innings but managed to get the win. He gave up four runs and eight hits.

Notes

Abreu also stole two bases in the nightcap. … Former Mets and Yankees slugger Darryl Strawberry threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Shea.

AP Sports Writer Jay Cohen contributed to this report.

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