NEW YORK (AP) — This year's Subway Series was a one-way ride.
Gary Sanchez homered and matched a career high with five RBIs, Luis Severino got right back on track and the New York Yankees made it a four-game sweep of the crosstown-rival Mets with a 7-5 victory Thursday night.
Four games behind first-place Boston in the AL East, the Yankees begin a three-game series Friday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox took two of three last weekend when the longtime rivals played at Yankee Stadium.
"These are really important games for us because the clock is ticking," manager Joe Girardi said .
Sanchez hit a three-run homer off struggling starter Steven Matz in the first inning and a two-run single in the fourth. Brett Gardner broke his 3-for-29 slump with a two-run double , and the Yankees won twice at Citi Field just as they did back home in the Bronx earlier this week.
Curtis Granderson hit his seventh career grand slam off Bryan Mitchell in the ninth, pulling the Mets to 7-5. Dellin Betances was summoned immediately and got three quick outs for his eighth save.
"It's not what you really want to do, but we had to win the game so I had to go to him," Girardi said. "I probably won't have him tomorrow."
Betances has pitched four of the past five days.
Since interleague play began in 1997, it was the third time one team swept the season series between these New York counterparts. The Yankees won all six meetings in 2003, and the Mets went 4-0 in 2013.
Severino (10-5) was working on a two-hit shutout with one out in the seventh when Aaron Judge dropped a fly ball in the right-field corner for a two-base error. The All-Star righty never got another out, throwing a wild pitch and giving up two straight singles before he was removed without allowing an earned run. He struck out nine .
In his previous outing Saturday, the 23-year-old Severino had the worst start of his career. He allowed 10 runs, eight earned, and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings during a 10-5 loss to Boston.
Before that, Severino was 4-0 with a 1.36 ERA in a span of six games.
"I would say the difference tonight was his slider and his changeup," Sanchez, the Yankees' catcher, said through a translator.
Matz (2-7) was unable to turn things around, dropping to 0-6 with a 10.19 ERA in his last eight starts. The left-hander hasn't won since June 28 at Miami.
"It's nothing I can put my finger on. I've got to figure out what's causing it," he said.
Matz was his own worst enemy Thursday, throwing away Gardner's easy grounder for a two-base error to begin the game. Aaron Hicks walked and, after Judge struck out for the 34th consecutive game, Sanchez hit his third home run against the Mets (53-66) this week.
"I've seen it in the past, a here-we-go-again kind of attitude," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Certainly tonight, when we threw the ball away right at the start of the game, all of a sudden, boy, the air came out of the dugout, too."
Severino's bunt single in the fourth, his first major league hit , loaded the bases. Gardner doubled to left field off Matz, and Sanchez hit a two-run single on the first pitch from reliever Chasen Bradford.
Matz gave up seven hits in 3 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs for the second time in a month. Six were earned.
"We've absolutely wringed the rag dry with ideas that we've all seen in the past, that we've all used in the past," Collins said. "Back to square one."
Yankees: All-Star 2B Starlin Castro (strained right hamstring) begins a rehab assignment Friday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the same day DH Matt Holliday (back) reports to Class-A Tampa to start playing rehab games. ... Before the game, Girardi said closer Aroldis Chapman (hamstring) probably would be unavailable for the second consecutive night. Afterward, the manager said he hopes Chapman can pitch Friday. ... 1B Garrett Cooper went on the 10-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left hamstring. Tyler Austin was promoted from Triple-A and singled his first two times up. ... 1B-3B Chase Headley was rested.
Mets: The next rehab outing for closer Jeurys Familia will probably be Saturday with Class-A St. Lucie, Collins said. Familia pitched a scoreless inning Wednesday for St. Lucie in his first appearance since surgery for a blood clot in his shoulder. ... SS Jose Reyes was placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Wednesday, with a sore left ribcage. Fellow infielder Wilmer Flores sat out again with a similar injury.
The Yankees are 12-4 against the Mets since May 14, 2014.
The Mets recalled infielders Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini from Triple-A Las Vegas. Reynolds started at third base and had two hits, including an RBI single off Severino in the seventh. RHP Kevin McGowan was optioned to Las Vegas.
Yankees: Rookie LHP Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 3.94 ERA) pitches Friday against Boston LHP Drew Pomeranz (12-4, 3.39). Montgomery has permitted only one run in three of his past four starts, including a solid effort over 5 1/3 innings Sunday night against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Mets: Giancarlo Stanton brings his home run show to the Big Apple when Miami visits Friday night. Stanton leads the majors with 44 homers. "He's hurt us enough in the past to know that he can be so dangerous," Collins said. "We're going to try to be very, very careful with him."
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