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Long Day Benefits Yankees

From Associated Press

A long day of baseball in New York ended with the New York Yankees sweeping the major leagues’ most unusual doubleheader in 97 years and Mike Piazza in the hospital.

Dwight Gooden and Roger Clemens teamed up to shut down the New York Mets, giving the Yankees identical 4-2 victories Saturday in the Subway Series.

Meanwhile, everything went against the Mets, including the traffic. They were especially angry after losing Piazza, who suffered a concussion when hit in the helmet--the Mets claimed deliberately--by a Clemens fastball in the second game at Yankee Stadium.

“My player, who’s had pretty good success against their pitcher, got hit in the head,” said Met Manager Bobby Valentine, who was ejected in the opener at Shea Stadium. “I’ve seen him hit guys in the head before.”

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Clemens insisted otherwise, saying he didn’t purposely hit Piazza.

Piazza was taken to the Hospital for Special Surgery. A Met spokesman said the catcher would sit out tonight’s series finale at Shea.

Tino Martinez homered and drove in three runs for the Yankees in the first game, then Chuck Knoblauch hit a three-run homer in the nightcap.

Clemens (6-6), hit hard throughout his career by Piazza and the Mets, struck the first blow in the second game, which began 3 1/2 hours after the opener ended.

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He hit Piazza in the helmet leading off the second inning, and the slugger. Piazza, who had homered in three straight games against the Rocket, was down for about a minute and helped to his feet, and walked to the dugout.

In the bottom half of the inning, Glendon Rusch (6-7) hit Martinez in the backside with his second pitch. With tension running high, Martinez calmly walked to first base and plate umpire Doug Eddings warned against further trouble. There wasn’t any as the Yankees increased their interleague series lead over the Mets to 11-6.

The Yankees won for the third consecutive time in this Subway Series, and took their fifth in a row overall. Mariano Rivera saved both games, ensuring the World Series champions would head into the All-Star break in first place in the American League East.


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