By LARRY FLEISHER
NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Sánchez and Aaron Hicks — among the few remaining regulars healthy enough to join the Yankees’ lineup — made sure the Bronx Bombers held serve at home in this unusual Subway Series.
Sánchez delivered the first pinch-hit, extra-innings grand slam in Yankees history, Deivi García made a strong impression in his big league debut and New York beat the crosstown Mets 5-2 to complete a doubleheader sweep Sunday night.
The Yankees stormed back in the opener, erasing a five-run lead with two outs in the seventh to win 8-7 in eight innings. Hicks lined a tying, two-run homer in the seventh, and Gio Urshela hit a game-ending single off Edwin Diaz an inning later.
Sánchez had been on a 1-for-18 slump and is still batting just .134 this season.
“I’m excited for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He means so much to this team. I’m really happy for him to take the air out of one.”
The Yankees won the final three games of this five-game Subway Series, snapping a seven-game skid that was their longest since 2017.
Sánchez blasted a 2-2 fastball from Drew Smith into the left field bleachers for a 5-1 lead. It was his first career pinch-hit homer and second career grand slam.
“I’ve been very anxious to contribute to the team,” Sánchez said through a translator. “Especially when you’re going through a rough patch and you’re not helping the team.”
García took a shutout into the sixth until allowing Dominic Smith’s tying single. Smith’s hit came after Jeff McNeill reached on an error by first baseman Luke Voit, who had the ball kick off the heel of his glove into right field.
García allowed four singles, struck out six, walked none and threw 75 pitches over six innings. At 21 years, 103 days, García became the youngest pitcher to start in the majors in the abbreviated 60-game game season.
García got a huge hug from veteran batterymate Erik Kratz in the dugout after his outing was done — the 40-year-old Kratz caught García often in Triple-A last year and thinks highly of the young right-hander. Kratz calls García son and García calls Kratz “padre,” García said.
Jonathan Holder (1-0) allowed an RBI single to Michael Conforto and in the eighth. Luis Cessa retired pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos with the bases loaded for his fourth career save.
Mets’ right-hander Seth Lugo allowed one run on four hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Tyler Wade homered in the third to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. The Yankees left the bases loaded in the fourth and stranded two in the fifth.
The Yankees trailed 7-2 with two outs in final inning of the seven-inning game before rallying against Jared Hughes and Diaz.
Mets third baseman Andrés Giménez made a throwing error, and Hughes walked a batter and plunked another to load the bases before Luke Voit hit a check-swing, two-run single against the shift to pull within 7-4.
Another run scored on Diaz’s wild pitch before Hicks lined a two-out, 3-2 fastball just over the wall in right for his third homer of the season.
“Before I got into the game, I was only able to throw about seven, eight, nine, 10 warmup pitches,” Diaz said. “At that point, I wasn’t able to go with my regular routine that I always have. But when I came into the game, I can’t really make an excuse. I threw the pitch that I wanted to throw, a high fastball that I got him out with the other day.”
It was the first time the Yankees scored five or more runs in the ninth inning to at least tie a game since July 16, 2000 against Philadelphia, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
Chad Green (3-2) struck out the side to strand the Mets’ automatic runner in the top of the eighth, and Urshela lined Diaz’s 0-2 pitch to right to score Mike Tauchman from second. Tauchman beat a close throw at the plate and the run was upheld following a brief video review.
Diaz’s meltdown was his second rough outing since Seth Lugo was moved to the rotation. On Wednesday he blew a lead for Jacob deGrom in the eighth inning before exiting with cramping in his left leg.
“We still trust him,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “We still love his stuff. And that’s when he’s going to get the ball, when there’s tight situations.”
Robinson Cáno hit a two-run homer in the fifth to give the Mets a 4-2 lead. The Mets added three runs in the sixth when Michael Conforto hit a two-run double and Pete Alonso was hit by a pitch.
Alonso and Wilson Ramos also added RBI singles for the Mets, who were one out away from getting their third win of the five-game series.
Hicks left the nightcap three innings before Sánchez’s drive with cramping in both calves. Hicks did not seem to think it was serious and believes he can play Monday against AL East leader Tampa Bay.
“When I took that swing on 3-1, I pretty much cramped up on both calves,” Hicks said. “That’s pretty much it.”
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (left shoulder discomfort) was placed on the injured list after feeling pain during his appearance on Saturday. Matz will see a doctor Monday to determine what the next step is. ... RHP Dellin Betances (right lat tightness) was placed on the injured list after throwing a wild pitch in his appearance on Saturday that allowed Clint Frazier to score the winning run.
Yankees: García was returned to the alternate site after the nightcap. ... In between games, the Yankees swapped out relievers, adding RHP Albert Abreu from the alternate training site and optioning RHP Brooks Kriske there.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (2-0, 1.80 ERA) makes his fourth consecutive start against the Marlins in a makeup of Thursday’s postponed game. The last pitcher to make straight starts against the same team was Freddie Fitzsimmons for the New York Giants against Cincinnati in 1929.
Yankees: RHP Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.51) opens a three-game series against AL East leaders Tampa Bay. Cole’s 20-game winning streak ended in Wednesday’s doubleheader at Atlanta.