Francisco Lindor whistled at the Yankees, and he sent the ball whistling over the wall — three times.
In the midst of a miserable first season with the Mets, Lindor kept alive his new team’s postseason chances and dropped its crosstown rival out of a playoff position.
He nearly set off a brawl when he taunted his opponents after his second home run, then he broke an eighth-inning tie with his third long ball in a dramatic Subway Series-ending 7-6 victory on Sunday night.
“Wow, what an amazing weekend,” the All-Star shortstop said. “It felt like playoffs, but hot.”
Lindor hit a three-run homer batting left-handed in the second inning off on 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 on a fastball from Chad Green.
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It was the first career three-homer game for Lindor, who is hitting .227 this season. He became the first player with a three-homer outing in the 139-game history of the Subway Series, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
While rounding the bases on his second homer, Lindor put a hand in front of his mouth, turned to shortstop Gleyber Torres and made a taunting motion as if to whistle while saying: “Keep on whistling.” That referenced the Mets’ belief that Taijuan Walker was tipping his pitches on Saturday and the Yankees were whistling to signal their batters.
Lindor looked at Peralta and recalled saying something to the pitcher and said he might have spoken toward the Yankees’ dugout.
“I can’t accuse them of whistling for the signs because I’m not 100 percent,” Lindor said. “But I know what I heard, and I felt like there was something out of the ordinary going on. … I took that personal.”
“One thing is when you’re in the batter’s box and you’re seeing something,” Lindor explained. “Another thing is when you’re getting help from the whole entire team.”
The Yankees’ Joey Gallo said Peralta had whistled Saturday “just trying to liven up the dugout” and it was “definitely not for pitch tipping.”
The chirping escalated when Giancarlo 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, and the bullpens emptied too.
“If you got a problem with Wandy, give it to Wandy,” Stanton said later. “Don’t be talking to multiple people, bringing everybody into it, especially running around the bases, was my thought process,” Stanton said. “Obviously, I didn’t get all of that out.”
The delay lasted nearly four minutes.
“Boys will be boys,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Francisco Lindor on Sunday night became the first player in the history of the Subway Series with a three-homer game. AP Photo/Noah K. Murray
A crowd of 33,305 that appeared evenly split booed Lindor before his third homer. He said he walked to the plate trying to hit a home run, and with a 2-0 count, he sent a 96.5 mph fastball to right. The boos then turned to cheers and prompted Lindor to make a curtain call.
“I’ve been being booed for a very long time,” he said.
Seth Lugo pitched the eighth, and Edwin Diaz got his 29th save in 35 chances.
Diaz allowed DJ LeMahieu’s one-out single and walked Anthony Rizzo on four pitches. Brett Gardner, who entered when Aaron Judge left in the third inning because of dizziness, struck out. James McCann’s passed ball advanced the runners, and Stanton hit a looper to Lindor that ended a 4-hour, 6-minute game.
“Barring no physical fights, talk is cheap,” Stanton said. “The talk is out on the field, getting it done, getting the W. And we were both in an opportunity to get that done. And I didn’t come up [through] in that situation.”
The Yankees lost for the 12th time in 15 games following a 13-game winning streak and dropped one game behind the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays — the leaders for the two American League wild cards.
The Mets went 4-2 against the Yankees this year and closed within three games for the second National League wild card, but the Mets have three teams in front of them.
Stanton’s RBI double and Gallo’s sacrifice fly built a 2-0 lead in the first off Carlos Carrasco. It was Gallo’s second sacrifice fly in 2,237 plate appearances. Torres had pulled the Yankees to 5-4 with a two-run homer against Jeurys Familia.
Lindor said his performance didn’t quite make him feel like a New Yorker just yet.
“I don’t have the accent yet,” he said.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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