Mark Teixeira hit a go-ahead homer and Phil Hughes won his third straight decision, sending the New York Yankees to a 4-2 victory over the Mets on Saturday night.
Curtis Granderson also connected and Alex Rodriguez had an early RBI single for the surging Yankees (33-25), who go for a Subway Series sweep Sunday with Andy Pettitte on the mound against Jonathon Niese. They have won seven of nine and 12 of 16 to move a season-high eight games over .500.
With runners at the corners in the ninth inning, Rafael Soriano retired pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin on a routine fly to end it.
David Wright hit a long homer and Omar Quintanilla went deep for the first time since 2008, but the scuffling Mets lost for the fifth time in six games. A pregame message on a clubhouse grease board encouraged them to "stay positive" and "keep battling."
They got a strong outing from Dillon Gee but managed only two solo homers against Hughes (6-5), who topped his win total from an injury-plagued 2011 season. Coming off a four-hitter at Detroit in which he threw a career-high 123 pitches, the right-hander struck out six in 6 1-3 innings to improve to 5-1 in his last seven starts.
Cory Wade and a fine running catch in deep left-center by Granderson kept the Mets at bay in the seventh. Granderson added his 18th homer off Bobby Parnell in the eighth, ending an 0-for-18 slump, and Soriano got three outs for his ninth save.
After a 9-1 loss Friday night, the Mets dropped to 2-14 in series in the Bronx.
The matchup between crosstown foes was just one event on a jam-packed sports schedule Saturday in the New York area. Also on the docket: the Belmont Stakes, Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals, a world-class track and field meet and an exhibition soccer match between South American rivals Brazil and Argentina.
Teixeira put the home team on top at Yankee Stadium before a sellout crowd of 48,575.
Gee (4-4) worked around leadoff walks in the third and fourth before another one came back to bite him in the sixth. He was one strike from escaping again when Teixeira lined a 2-2 breaking ball over the short porch in right to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
Teixeira’s 11th homer was the first hit for the Yankees since three of their initial four batters singled.
Derek Jeter snapped an 0-for-17 slide with a leadoff hit. He advanced on Gee’s balk and scored when Rodriguez grounded a single up the middle.
Quintanilla tied it when he connected on a 2-2 pitch in the third for his third major league homer and first since a game-ending shot for Colorado against Cincinnati on Aug. 24, 2008.
Wright drove his eighth homer to the back of the Mets’ bullpen in the sixth, far beyond the 399-foot sign on the left-center fence.
Hughes has served up 15 home runs — at least one in each of his 12 starts. The Yankees said that streak is tied for the second-longest to begin a season in major league history behind Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, who gave up a homer in his first 14 starts of 1987 with Minnesota, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Raul Ibanez grounded into a double play to end the first, dropping him to 0 for 9 with the bases loaded this season and the Yankees to 10 for 64 (.156) in those situations.
NOTES: Rodriguez tied Hall of Famer Eddie Murray for seventh on the career list with 1,917 RBIs. … Jeter reached 1,800 runs scored, passing Ted Williams for 17th place. … Yankees RHP Hiroki Kuroda expects to make his next start after he was hit on the left foot by Daniel Murphy’s line drive Friday night, though manager Joe Girardi said the team probably will have to wait a couple of days to know for sure. … Yankees reliever David Robertson headed out on a rehab assignment and is scheduled to pitch Sunday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The right-hander has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 14 with a strained left oblique. … Mets CF Andres Torres struck out his first three times up.