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YANKEES 5, METS 4

Down but not out: Yankees rally again

NEW YORK -- Down by four runs and facing a blazing closer, the New York Yankees sure seemed to be in trouble.

Then again, startling comebacks are nothing new for this team. Not this week, anyway.

Johnny Damon hustled to beat a double-play relay that capped a four-run rally in the ninth inning against Billy Wagner, then pinch hitter Andy Phillips lined an RBI single in the 11th yesterday to lift the Yankees to an improbable 5-4 win over the New York Mets.

Trailing Texas, 9-0, Tuesday night, the Yankees matched their greatest comeback in team history, winning, 14-13.

Yesterday, Pedro Martínez outpitched Mike Mussina and matched his season high with seven innings, leaving with the Mets leading, 4-0, and the sellout crowd at Shea Stadium shouting. The home fans were still screaming later, albeit for a different reason, when Wagner self-destructed.

''It stinks," Wagner said. ''We deserved that game."

Phillips delivered a two-out single off Jorge Julio (1-2) after Miguel Cairo drew a leadoff walk and stole two bases. Mariano Rivera (2-3) pitched two scoreless innings.

Wagner looked nothing like the pitcher who overpowered the Yankees Friday in striking out the side.

Jason Giambi led off the ninth with a single, Alex Rodriguez walked, and Robinson Cano singled for a run. Melky Cabrera and Kelly Stinnett walked to force home a run and pinch hitter Bernie Williams was hit by a pitch, making it 4-3.

Pedro Feliciano relieved with the bases loaded and almost got the break the Mets needed to escape, but Damon, slowed by a bad foot, barely beat Kaz Matsui's relay as the tying run scored.

The Yankees did nothing vs. Martínez, who blanked them on four hits and struck out eight.

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