Lindor settles spat with 3 HRs to down Yankees

NEW YORK — Francisco Lindor broke an eighth-inning tie with his third homer, sending a drive whistling into the right-field seats after a pitch tipping spat with Giancarlo Stanton, and the Mets beat the Yankees 8-7 Sunday night in a heated Subway Series finale that nearly turned into a brawl.

Lindor hit a three-run homer batting left-handed in the second off a hanging breaking ball from rookie Clarke Schmidt, had a solo homer in the sixth hitting right-handed on a Wandy Peralta changeup, and broke a 7-7 tie from the left side against Chad Green (7-7).

It was the first career three-homer game for Lindor, who has struggled through most of his first season with the Mets.

While rounding the bases on his second homer, Lindor put a hand in front of his mouth, turned to the Yankees and made movements as if to whistle. That referenced the Mets’ belief that the Yankees had been whistling on Saturday in an attempt to tip their batters to Taijuan Walker‘s pitches.

The chirping escalated when Stanton tied the score with a two-run homer in the seventh off left-hander Brad Hand. Stanton slowed to a walk after rounding second in his trot, turned his back toward third and started shouting with the shortstop. Both Lindor and second baseman Javier Baez waved at Stanton to come at them, and by the time Stanton reached the plate, players from both dugouts had spilled onto the field.

Bullpens emptied, too, and Brett Gardner gave the Mets a double thumbs down. By the time the next pitch was thrown, the delay had lasted nearly four minutes.

Hand couldn’t be replaced by a righty because Stanton was his third batter, a minimum Major League Baseball added to rules in 2020. Mets manager Luis Rojas elected not to walk Stanton with first base open and lefty-hitting strikeout-prone Joey Gallo on deck.

A crowd of 33,305 that appeared evenly split booed Lindor before his third homer.

Seth Lugo (4-2) pitched the eighth, and Edwin Diaz got his 29th save in 35 chances. He allowed DJ LeMahieu‘s one-out single in the ninth and walked Anthony Rizzo on four pitches.

Gardner, who entered when Aaron Judge left in the third inning because of dizziness, struck out. Brian McCann’s passed ball advanced the runners, and Stanton then hit a game-ending looper — to Lindor.

The Yankees lost for the 12th time in 15 games following a 13-game winning streak and dropped one game behind Boston and Toronto in the AL wild card chase.

The Mets went 4-2 against the Yankees this year and closed within three games for the second NL wild card, but have three teams in front of them.

In a game with no pace, the first two innings took 1 hour, 8 minutes (and 102 pitches), the first six lasted 2:52 and the entire game took 4:06.

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