Jason Bay homered twice off an ineffective CC Sabathia, and the New York Mets held off the slumping New York Yankees last night at Citi Field, 6-4, behind Johan Santana's stellar pitching.

Shut down nearly all night by Santana, the Yankees rallied for three runs in the ninth inning before Francisco Rodriguez struck out Alex Rodriguez on a 3-2 breaking ball with runners at the corners to end it.

Mets second baseman Alex Cora, a late addition to the lineup because Luis Castillo has a sore foot, got the offense started with a two-run single in a four-run second inning and the Mets took two of three at home for their first Subway Series victory since a rain-shortened, two-game sweep at old Yankee Stadium in May 2008.

The city rivals meet again in the Bronx from June 18-20.

Mets righthander Manny Acosta was optioned to Triple A Buffalo when Ryota Igarashi (strained hamstring) was activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Igarashi immediately will be thrust into an eighth-inning setup job. The rookie righthander from Japan had a 1.35 ERA in seven relief appearances before going on the disabled list April 21.

The decision to demote Acosta means the Mets will keep Jenrry Mejia, a touted righthander, in the majors as a reliever rather than send him to the minors for seasoning as a starter, his role prior to this year.

"Basically, that was the plan all along, if we felt that Igarashi can handle the eighth and we needed someone to handle the seventh," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.