Germán cruises in return, Urshela helps Yanks beat Mets 5-1
NEW YORK (AP) — Domingo Germán felt solid coming off the injured list. He was happy to get a little support nonetheless.
Germán (10-2) allowed a run over six innings, giving up five hits and no walks. The 26-year-old right-hander struck out six and threw 80 pitches in a tidy return from a strained left hip flexor, which had sidelined him since June 8.
"I think I felt very strong out there," Germán said through a translator.
He got an appreciated lift from his defense, and Urshela in particular. The third baseman made three stellar defensive plays.
"Magnificent," Germán said. "In my humble opinion, I think he's a candidate to win the Gold Glove."
The AL East-leading Yankees have won 14 of 16 overall and forced a four-game split in this year's Subway Series. Gregorius had two hits for his career-best sixth straight multihit game. Gleyber Torres added two hits and two RBIs.
The Mets haven't won the season series since 2013. Jason Vargas (3-4) settled after a rocky first inning, pitching three-run ball into the sixth. The left-hander struck out six and allowed seven hits and two walks.
Jeff McNeil homered on Germán's first pitch, but the Mets failed to rally following consecutive comeback victories against the Braves and Yankees. The Mets have lost eight of 10.
McNeil countered with his shot in the bottom of the inning, the All-Star's seventh long ball this season.
Vargas slowed things down with a steady dose of changeups and kept the Yankees in check until Gregorius' solo homer in the sixth. Wilmer Font relieved Vargas and allowed Urshela's shot, which made it 4-1 Yankees.
"He kept them off balance, kept the ball underneath the zone when he needed to, and he gave us a chance," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "Another great outing by him."
Vargas said he lost his concentration on Gregorius' shot.
"I just made a mistake," the veteran said. "I just really lost focus, a complete lack of focus."
A night earlier, the Mets ended the Yankees' major league-record homer streak at 31 games.
Chad Green pitched two scoreless innings for New York, striking out four. The right-hander has thrown 11 2/3 shutout innings over his last seven outings.
Mets left-hander Steven Matz made his first relief appearance since being moved to the bullpen until after the All-Star break. He faced one batter, retiring Gregorius leading off the seventh on four pitches.
Urshela twice backhanded grounders and threw on the run from foul territory to get outs at first base early in the game, then dived into the hole and threw from a seated position to nab McNeil on a hard grounder in the eighth. The last stop came after Urshela's left glute tightened up as he rounded the bases on his homer, which had manager Aaron Boone ready to pull him from the game. Urshela was stretched out by trainers and told Boone he could stay in.
"We've seen him make some really, really special plays that not a lot of guys do, frankly," Boone said.
Germán was up to 96.6 mph with his fastball and threw 56 strikes.
"Stuff, tempo, command, everything," Boone said. "That was the good, dominant version of Germán."
Boone called it "a joke" that Torres has not been added to the AL All-Star team. The 22-year-old — an All-Star last year as a rookie — entered Wednesday batting .295 with 19 home runs and a .907 OPS.
The Yankees' Dominican Summer League team beat the Twins' affiliate 38-2 on Wednesday.
Yankees: Boone said RHP Dellin Betances is "90%" recovered from the lat strain that has kept him out all season. Betances is still about a week away from resuming throwing. ... TV play-by-play announcer Michael Kay saw a specialist in Boston on Wednesday and will have surgery to correct an issue with his vocal cord. He expects to miss about a month.
Mets: OF J.D. Davis stayed at home with a stomach virus. ... INF Jed Lowrie is "not close" to beginning a minor league rehab assignment, Callaway said. Lowrie signed a $20 million, two-year deal in the offseason but hasn't played yet this year. Asked what Lowrie's injury is, Callaway declined to provide specifics, saying only it was a left side issue. Callaway said Lowrie has been participating in baseball activities at the team's facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Yankees: Start a four-game series at Tampa Bay to close out the first half. LHP J.A. Happ (7-4, 5.23) pitched five innings of two-run ball against the Rays on June 18. Tampa Bay will start RHP Yonny Chirinos (7-4, 3.10).
Mets: Open a three-game home series against Philadelphia on Friday. Mets All-Star RHP Jacob deGrom (4-7, 3.32) faces RHP Vince Velasquez (2-5, 4.73).