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06/19/10 1:31 PM ET

Aces will decide Subway Series outcome

It wouldn't be a Subway Series without a classic battle of aces, and with the Mets' Johan Santana and the Yankees' CC Sabathia set to duel for a series victory on Sunday, this edition is bound to continue that tradition.

While neither left-hander has been as dominant lately as in the past, Sunday's matchup will likely carry the same drama that has characterized their showdowns in the past.

Santana is still trying to get fully on track after seeing his velocity dip over his past few outings. Two starts ago, against the Padres, Santana's fastball was topping out only in the high 80s. In his last outing, against the Indians, the left-hander seemed to find a little more zip, but he and the Mets would likely be relieved to see another strong performance on Sunday.

Santana's win over the Indians was far from the best outing of his career, but for seemingly the first time this year, the Mets showered him with support -- scoring seven runs -- en route to a victory.

  • 134 wins
  • 118 wins

"That was a good outing for him," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "It was good that we scored runs for him."

If the swagger the Mets have regained of late doesn't return Santana to his dominant ways, perhaps facing an American League team will. The veteran is second all-time in Interleague Play with a 2.83 ERA.

On the other side, Sabathia hasn't necessarily been pitching like the Yankees' ace, but he's unquestionably one of the biggest leaders on the staff. The lefty had a few rocky starts earlier this season but is coming on stronger of late.

Sabathia has won three straight decisions, including a victory over the Phillies on Tuesday in which he allowed three runs in seven innings, striking out seven.

"He bent but didn't break," Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher said. "He was in the corner, getting pounded on a little bit, and he fought his way out. That's big, to have that character and will to fight to get out of it. That's why he's our No. 1."

The Yankees will need Sabathia on his "A" game on Sunday as they attempt to cool off a Mets offense led by Jose Reyes, who with two homers in Saturday's 5-3 loss has been sizzling of late.

Mets: Road trip no problem
Despite Saturday's loss, the Mets have been on quite a roll, having won eight of nine games, with the past seven coming on the road. The club has also been had success in Interleague Play, compiling a 9-2 record against AL teams this season. With seven games left, the Mets still have a chance to top their record for Interleague wins of 12, set in 1999.

Yankees: Win comes without Jeter
Captain Derek Jeter was noticeably absent from Saturday's lineup, scratched before game time with a bruised right heel he suffered in Friday night's loss. Jeter underwent treatment before Saturday's game, but no further tests were scheduled. It wasn't immediately known how long the injury would keep the veteran shortstop out of the lineup, but it hasn't been easy to pry him out of the lead-off spot. It was only the second game all season that Jeter missed.

Worth noting
With Saturday's win, the Yankees improved to 30-6 this season when scoring five or more runs. ... After hitting two homers on Saturday, Reyes has an 11-game hit streak. ... The Mets have scored first in the first eight games of their current road trip.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.