Endy Chavez turned around the Subway Series opener, much as the Mets and Yankees have reversed fortunes this season.
Chavez' first home run of the year, a go-ahead, two-run shot off Andy Pettitte in the fifth inning, led the host Mets to a 3-2 victory last night that dropped their crosstown rival 10 games back in the AL East for the first time in the Joe Torre era.
Chavez also threw out Johnny Damon trying to stretch a game-opening hit to left into a double, and the Yankees' sputtering offense rarely threatened after that.
Oliver Perez (5-3) limited the Yankees to only Hideki Matsui's two-run homer in the fourth, another stellar start in a remarkable turnaround for a pitcher who went 3-13 in the regular season last year. After Matsui's homer, the Yankees didn't get a runner past first base.
The Yankees had not been double digits back in the AL East since they trailed the Red Sox by 10 games after play on Sept. 22, 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Yankees fell to 2-5 on their nine-game road trip and have lost six of eight overall.
Pettitte (2-3) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings and is 1-2 in his last four starts despite not allowing more than three runs in any of them.
In other interleague games:
* At Cleveland, Ryan Garko and Grady Sizemore homered to help Cliff Lee (2-0) and the Indians defeat Cincinnati, 9-4.
* At Houston, Nelson Cruz and Ramon Vazquez hit back-to-back homers as Texas beat the Astros, 7-4.
* At Milwaukee, Boof Bonser (2-1) struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings and Torii Hunter hit a grand slam, leading Minnesota over the Brewers, 8-1.
* At Washington, Brian Roberts tied a career high with four hits and Baltimore snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Nationals.
* At Chicago, Angel Pagan's two-run triple in the seventh inning helped the Cubs to a 6-3 comeback win over the visiting White Sox.
* At Detroit, Andrew Miller (1-0) won his first major league start and the Tigers scored nine runs in the fifth inning of a 14-4 victory over St. Louis.
* At St. Petersburg, Fla., Byung-Hyun Kim (2-2) won his Marlins debut and Aaron Boone hit a grand slam, leading Florida past Tampa Bay, 8-4.
* At Denver, Emil Brown hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning, lifting Kansas City to a 5-2 win over Colorado.
* At Seattle, rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a two-run double for an early lead and Chris Young made it stand up, leading San Diego past the Mariners, 8-1.
* At Anaheim, Brad Penny (5-1) was roughed up in his first loss of the season, and Shea Hillenbrand's RBI double keyed a five-run sixth inning that sent the Los Angeles Angels to a 9-1 victory over the Dodgers.
* At Boston, the interleague game between Atlanta and Red Sox was rained out and will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader today.
In an NL game:
* At Pittsburgh, Xavier Nady hit a three-run homer to help the Pirates open a seven-run lead and beat Arizona, 11-5.
* Roger Clemens allowed only a solo homer and threw 58 pitches in four innings for Class A Tampa last night, his first minor league start as he prepares to rejoin the New York Yankees.
The righthander gave up three hits and struck out two against Fort Myers, a Minnesota affiliate. Clemens, 44, is expected to make a start with Double A Trenton next week and could join New York's rotation as early as May 28 at Toronto or June 2 or 3 at Boston.
In another Yankees matter, slugger Jason Giambi declined to elaborate on remarks made the other day in which he implied he used steroids. In comments to USA Today, he said baseball should apologize for the steroid scandal and said he was "wrong for doing that stuff." Baseball reportedly will investigate his comments. *