NEW YORK -- Despite a shaky ninth, Frank Francisco's chickens didn't come home to roost.
After ruffling some feathers with his pre-game comments calling the New York Yankees "chickens," the Mets' closer earned his 18th save of the season to finish off the Mets' first Subway Series win in four games this season.
Francisco -- who had bragged to the New York Post that he wanted to "strike out the side" against the Yankees as he had done while with the Texas Rangers in 2004 -- withstood a ninth-inning threat to close out a 6-4 win Friday night at Citi Field.
The victory was the Mets' fourth straight and sent the Yankees to their third consecutive loss following a 10-game winning streak.
"Awesome," Francisco said of how it felt to get the save. "I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings. I make a simple comment, and a lot of guys take it the wrong way."
Ike Davis' three-run homer, which went off the glove of Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher and over the wall, capped a five-run first inning against Andy Pettitte after the game had been delayed by rain for an hour. David Wright had two hits, including an RBI double in the seventh, to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Justin Turner also had two hits, including a two-out, two-run single in the first.
While Francisco said he had plenty of respect for the Yankees, especially Derek Jeter, he did maintain that he felt their players often complained about calls that didn't go their way.
Asked when they complained, Francisco said with a smile, "They might be complaining right now. I don't know. No, seriously, I've got a lot of respect for those guys, especially Jeter. He's a winner. A lot of those guys are professionals. I didn't mean to call 'em chicken. Just a simple comment."
The Yankees, held to two runs against Jon Niese in 6 1/3 innings, got home runs from Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones and Robinson Cano to close within 6-4 after trailing 5-0.
Francisco then got Russell Martin on a long fly out, helped by center fielder Andres Torres' running catch, to start the ninth. The closer, who entered the game with a 5.14 ERA, then walked pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez, to face Jeter, whose head had been placed on a chicken's body in a photo illustration on the front page of the New York Post on Friday.
Jeter, who was more amused than agitated about the situation before the game, singled to put runners on first and second. After a quick mound visit by pitching coach Dan Warthen, Francisco struck out Curtis Granderson for the second out.
The closer then got Mark Teixeira on a pop-up to short to end the game.
"It really wasn't a big deal on our side," Teixeira said of Francisco's comments. "I wish we would've won the game. It doesn't matter who's out there pitching. We've been through enough around here for the last however many years that something like that was kind of funny."
Asked if he realized just how much grief he would have gotten had he blown the save after creating such a ruckus, which included his teammates greeting him with a chicken dance before the game, Francisco said, "It's not gonna happen. It's not gonna happen. No way."
The Mets blasted Pettitte out of the gate, racking up five hits in the first.
"He didn't have his slider in the first inning and he didn't have great command of his fastball," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Pettitte.
Turner's two-out, bases-loaded, two-run single got the Mets on the board before Davis' homer gave them a 5-0 lead.
Swisher nearly made a leaping catch, but as he brought his glove down on top of the fence, the ball bounced out and over the wall.
"He went back and he jumped and it went off his glove, and I saw it bounce over," said Davis, who has recently broken out of a season-long slump. "It was a good feeling."
Pettitte (3-3) settled down, pitching five scoreless innings after that, but Niese (5-3) limited the Yankees to the solo homers by Rodriguez in the sixth and Jones in the seventh, and little else.
After Wright's RBI double extended the Mets' lead to 6-2, the Yankees struck in the eighth on a two-run blast to right by Cano off Miguel Batista to make it 6-4.
Most of the pre-game buzz in both clubhouses was about Francisco's squawking to the Post that he couldn't wait to "face those chickens."
The Yankees appeared more amused than anything, especially by the Post's front-page picture of Jeter and the headline "Cluck You!"
Jeter, like most Yankees, showed more confusion than anger, saying he didn't understand the comments and he couldn't be insulted by what he didn't understand.
Shown a picture of the cover, Martin laughed, though he added of Francisco, "We'll see if we're chicken when he gets in the game."
The Mets greeted Francisco before the game with several songs including the word "chicken," with Turner spotted playing deejay a few hours before he would help give the Mets something to crow about.
NOTES: Rodriguez said he felt a kinship with Miami Heat star LeBron James and thought the Heat's NBA title would provide relief for James. "I know exactly how he felt, and I was very happy for him," said Rodriguez, who, like James, caught flack for leaving his first team and was heavily scrutinized until winning his first World Series in 2009. "I know he's going to take a deep breath now and really enjoy the rest of his career. ... Playing the villain is not fun and it's tiring." ... Johan Santana was presented with the key to the city by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg before the game, in recognition of the lefty throwing the first no-hitter in team history on June 1. ... Infielder Ronny Cedeno was activated from the disabled list and started at shortstop. Reliever Elvin Ramirez was sent to the minors to make room. ... Second baseman Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup for the third time in four games due to a slump and the presence of Pettitte on the mound for the Yankees, manager Terry Collins said. Collins said he would get Murphy back in the lineup soon to get him going.
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