The Mets finished off their international road trip with a 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Independence Day. The Mets leave Canada with a split in not only this series, but the season series against Toronto. In their first meeting, back in May, the two teams also took one game apiece in the two-game series.
Corey Oswalt made his second career start in the major leagues, and he started things off on the right foot, quickly setting down the first three batters he faced. He then ran into his first bit of trouble in the second inning as Kendrys Morales smacked a solo home run to right to put the Blue Jays up 1-0. Russell Martin followed that up with a single, but Oswalt was able to end the inning before any more runs scored.
In the top of the third, the Mets got their first run and first hit against Long Island’s Marcus Stroman. After Kevin Plawecki walked, Brandon Nimmo brought him home with a two-out single. Unfortunately, that single was also the end of the inning as Nimmo was thrown out at second after the run scored to end the Mets’ threat.
Oswalt hit another bump in the road in the fourth inning, this one also in the form of Kendrys Morales. Morales roped a double to left to put himself in scoring position with one out. A walk and a strikeout later, Lourdes Gurriel singled to center field to bring Morales home and give Toronto a 2-1 lead.
The Blue Jays’ lead didn’t last for long as the Mets’ offense exploded in the fifth inning. Wilmer Flores kicked things off with a single and Todd Frazier cleared the bases with a two-run home run immediately after that to put the give the Mets a lead they’d never surrender. A few batters later, a Plawecki double and a Nimmo walk put men on first and second for hometown hero Jose Bautista. Bautista came through, driving in Plawecki and putting men on first and third for the red-hot Asdrubal Cabrera. Much like the man who came before him, Cabrera singled to bring home another run and put the Mets ahead 5-2. Michael Conforto followed that with yet another single and yet another run scored. Wilmer Flores came up again and lined out, but the damage was done as five runs had already come across the plate.
By this point Seth Lugo, the second half of the Mets’ starting duo, had come into the game. Oswalt had a nice night, going four innings and giving up two runs on five hits, but Lugo was the star of the staff. Lugo started the fifth inning and had an impressive outing, only giving up one run and three hits over the three innings of work. Combined, Oswalt and Lugo pitched seven innings and gave up three runs on eight hits and struck out four.
Other than a Gurriel ground out in the seventh inning that scored a run, neither offense did much in the final third of the game. For the Mets, Jerry Blevins, Robert Gsellman, and Jeurys Familia combined to pitch the final two innings. Between the three of them, they only allowed one runner to reach base out of the seven they faced, a much better performance for the bullpen than last night. This win brought the Mets a half-game above the Marlins and out of last place with their 34-49 record.
The Mets have the day off tomorrow before coming back home to Citi Field for a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. In the first game of the series on Friday, Tampa’s opener, Ryan Stanek, will face off against Mets ace Jacob deGrom at 7:10.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Todd Frazier +15.3% WPA, Brandon Nimmo +10.7% WPA
Big losers: None!
Teh aw3s0mest play: Todd Frazier’s fifth inning home run, +21.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Lourdes Gurriel’s fourth inning RBI single, -12.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +17.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: +32.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Jose Bautista