Alex Rodriguez slid both hands into the pockets of his black jeans and smiled. "I showed them, didn't I?" he said before cracking a smile and laughing.
Once again, a team intentionally walked Mark Teixeira to pitch to A-Rod. Once again, A-Rod came up with a big hit, even though this one didn't go very far.
After Derek Jeter tied the score with a two-run single, Rodriguez followed Teixeira's walk with a 55-foot, six-hop single that put the New York Yankees ahead during an eight-run seventh inning yesterday that led them over the Mets, 9-3.
Back in first place in the AL East, the Yankees took two of three at Yankee Stadium from their crosstown rivals, bouncing back after losing the opener.
"We've been talking about playing small ball here for the last week or two, and I don't think it could have gone any smaller," Rodriguez said. "Those are the things we have not been doing the last 3 or 4 weeks."
The Mets led, 3-1, heading into the seventh. Curtis Granderson's 16th homer - second in the majors to Toronto's Jose Bautista - put the Yankees ahead in the first against Mike Pelfrey (3-4), but the Mets plowed ahead in the second when Willie Harris and Jason Pridie hit run-scoring singles around Ronny Paulino's RBI comebacker.
Brett Gardner singled between Pelfrey's legs and into center leading off the seventh, Chris Dickerson walked and Francisco Cervelli was hit on a shoulder with a pitch when he squared to bunt.
Jeter, who had been 3-for-24 this year with runners in scoring position and less than two outs, grounded the next pitch up the middle, just to the side of Pelfrey's glove at the mound and past diving shortstop Jose Reyes behind second. Two runs scored on the single. With two hits, Jeter raised his average to .268 and moved within 25 of 3,000.
Tim Byrdak relieved, Granderson sacrificed and the Mets walked Teixeira, a move that usually backfires when A-Rod is up next. This time was no different.
Rodriguez reached outside for the first pitch from Pedro Beato. While third baseman Harris picked up the slow roller, he had no play as A-Rod reached and Cervelli sprinted home.
"It wasn't a grand slam. It was just as effective in a sense," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Rodriguez is 7-for-13 (.538) with three homers and 23 RBI in 18 career plate appearances following intentional walks, including 6-for-8 with 19 RBI following intentional walks to Teixeira.
In other interleague games:
* At Boston, Tim Wakefield held Chicago to four hits in 6 innings, and Adrian Gonzalez had four hits of his own to lead the Red Sox to a 5-1 victory and send the Cubs home after their first visit to Fenway Park since the 1918 World Series. Boston took two out of three.
* At Cleveland, Asdrubal Cabrera went 5-for-5 with two homers and five RBI as the Indians completed a three-game sweep of Cincinnati with a 12-4 win over the reeling Reds.
* At Chicago, Alexei Ramirez homered and drove in a career-high five runs, and the suddenly surging White Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-3.
* At Miami, James Shields (5-2) pitched a three-hitter with a career-high 13 strikeouts and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Florida Marlins, 4-0, to avoid a three-game sweep. Florida's Jay Buente (0-1), called up when ace Josh Johnson was put on the disabled list with inflammation in his shoulder, lasted three innings in his first career start.
* At Kansas City, Colby Rasmus drew a bases-loaded walk - his fifth walk of the day - that forced in the go-ahead run in the 10th, and the St. Louis Cardinals walked 13 times in a wacky, 9-8 win over the Royals.
* At Phoenix, Juan Miranda homered, Daniel Hudson (5-5) had an RBI single to go with eight strong innings on the mound and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Minnesota Twins, 3-2, to complete a three-game sweep.
_ At Anaheim, Torii Hunter ended a home run drought of 28 games with a go-ahead shot off Derek Lowe (3-4), rookie Tyler Chatwood (3-2) pitched seven strong innings and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Atlanta Braves, 4-1.
* At Toronto, Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer, Wandy Rodriguez (3-3) pitched six solid innings and the Houston Astros held off the Blue Jays, 3-2, to win a series for the first time in 3 weeks.
* At Pittsburgh, Rick Porcello allowed one hit over eight innings and the Detroit Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over the Pirates.
* At Baltimore, Vladimir Guerrero's two-run homer in the seventh inning spoiled a stellar outing by Jordan Zimmermann (2-5) and lifted the Orioles to a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals.
* At San Diego, Felix Hernandez (5-4) tied his career high with 13 strikeouts in eight dominant innings to lead the Seattle Mariners over the Padres, 6-1.
* At San Francisco, Emmanuel Burriss singled home the winning run in the 11th inning and the Giants completed a three-game sweep of the cross-bay rival Oakland Athletics with a 5-4 victory.
* At Milwaukee, Ryan Braun hit a two-run triple off Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez (0-4) and scored on a throwing error, lifting the Brewers to a 3-1 win and a three-game sweep over Colorado. Jimenez threw the seventh complete game of his career.