Didi Gregorius’ double, Aaron Judge’s HR power Yankees past Mets | Rapid reaction

NEW YORK — The Mets avoided letting Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge beat them in the top of the seventh inning, but they couldn’t get past shortstop Didi Gregorius

After Judge popped out to Mets catcher Rene Rivera with the bases loaded, Gregorius roped a two-out double to the right-field corner, plating two runs and giving the Yankees the lead for good in a 5-3 win over the Mets on Wednesday at Citi Field.

Gregorius turned on a 2-1 fastball, scoring second baseman Ronald Torreyes and centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to break a 3-3 tie. Left fielder Aaron Hicks held up at third base.

The Mets contained Judge prior to Gregorius’ double, but he sparked the Yankee offense with a mammoth home run into the third deck in left field to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. Judge finished 2-for-5, and he struck out swinging in the ninth inning — marking his 33rd straight game with a strikeout.

WATCH: Judge’s long Citi Field HR

The Yankees only trailed briefly after the Mets pushed across a run on a first-inning sacrifice fly. They tied it in the second inning when third baseman Chase Headley walked before advancing to second base on a wild pitch and third base on a passed ball. He scored on a groundout by first baseman Garrett Cooper.

Judge’s 457-foot fourth-inning home run gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead, but Mets catcher Rene Rivera tied the game a 2-2 with a solo shot to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning, setting up third baseman Chase Headley to drive in Judge with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. The Mets responded with a Travis d’Arnaud sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth, which scored left fielder Yoenis Cespedes to even the score at 3-3.

RHP David Robertson recorded the save while relievers Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman got the night off.

WHAT IT MEANS

The Yankees ensured a Subway Series win, and they can complete the sweep when the teams end the four-game set at 7:10 p.m. on Thursday at Citi Field. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi talked about the importance of each win as his team attempts to keep pace in the division and wild-card races.

“If we win series, you’re winning games. That’s the bottom line,” Girardi said. “But you need to continue to win and give yourself a chance with the team that we’re chasing, Boston, when you go into town (this weekend). These two games (at Citi Field) are very important, but you’ve got to win games. 

JUDGE MAKES UNWANTED HISTORY

Judge now stand alone in holding the record for most consecutive games with a strikeout. After tying Adam Dunn’s mark of 32 straight games with a K on Tuesday, Judge’s ninth inning punch-out on Wednesday marked his 33rd straight game where he went down on strikes.

BIRD REHAB GAME

First baseman Greg Bird went 0-for-2 with a strikeout while playing first base for four innings with Triple-A Scranton.

NEXT UP

Thursday: Yankees vs. Mets, 7:10 p.m. – RHP Luis Severino (9-5, 3.32) vs. LHP Steven Matz (2-6, 5.44)

Chris Ryan may be reached at cryan@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRyan_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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