Syndergaard, Mets break out in 12-2 rout of Blue Jays
NEW YORK (AP) — Devin Mesoraco made quite a first impression in Queens, which has been nothing but trouble for the Toronto Blue Jays over the years.
His batterymate wasn’t bad with the bat, either.
Mesoraco had a huge home debut for the Mets, and pitcher Noah Syndergaard knocked in two early runs against the team that traded him to rouse a sluggish New York offense Tuesday night during a 12-2 rout of Toronto.
“We needed it,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “We had a lot of production from the bottom of our lineup, set the table from the top. Really good to see. Lot of good at-bats.”
Missing injured sluggers Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier, the Mets finally broke through anyway against Jaime Garcia and the skidding Blue Jays after an 86-minute rain delay at the start.
“It can’t be those guys every night,” said Mesoraco, who homered and scored four times. “If us guys down at the bottom of the order can swing the bat and get on base, turn it over like that, we’re going to be tough to beat, for sure.”
Juan Lagares had four hits and three RBIs to help New York improve to 12-0 at home against Toronto — the longest such streak in interleague history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Amed Rosario added three loud hits and two RBIs from the No. 9 spot in the batting order.
Acquired from Cincinnati for former ace Matt Harvey last week, Mesoraco also singled and drew three walks. The team’s new catcher reached base safely all five times up.
“It was very cool. You want to make a good first impression and I think tonight I was able to do that,” Mesoraco said.
Making his first start in nine days because of a rainout last weekend, Syndergaard (3-1) struck out seven in his first win since April 9 at Miami. He threw 103 pitches over five innings but allowed only Yangervis Solarte’s two-run single.
“I felt great in the first inning. Felt like glimpses of the old Noah was coming out, and then after that I lost the ability to throw front-hip sinkers to lefties and backdoor to righties,” Syndergaard said. “Had to grind it out.”
“I feel like I haven’t been living up to my expectations for myself or people,” he added. “Once it clicks, I’ll be looking forward to that.”
At the plate, however, Syndergaard laced an RBI double in the second and lofted a tying sacrifice fly in a five-run fourth . The inning included a single by Jose Reyes that loaded the bases for Syndergaard and snapped New York’s 0-for-24 slide with runners in scoring position.
Toronto drafted Syndergaard 38th overall in 2010 and shipped him to the Mets in a package for then-reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey in December 2012. The right-hander made one previous start against the Blue Jays, striking out 11 over six innings of two-hit ball in a no-decision during his 2015 rookie season.
The Mets, who finished with 16 hits, won for only the third time in 12 games and stopped a six-game losing streak at home. They had scored three runs or fewer in nine of the past 11 games.
Garcia (2-3), who is 0-4 at Citi Field, was charged with six runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings as the Blue Jays (21-21) fell back to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2. Toronto has dropped three in a row and eight of 11.
“It seems like we have trouble limiting the damage,” manager John Gibbons said. “We need to tighten up our rotation, there’s no doubt about it. I’m still confident that’ll change, because we’re too good down there. But it’s just not happening right now.”
Curtis Granderson received a warm hand in his first game at Citi Field since the Mets traded him last August. The 37-year-old Blue Jays outfielder hit 95 home runs for New York from 2014-17, plus three more in the 2015 World Series. He is tied for the team record with 21 leadoff homers. Granderson said his favorite memories with the Mets were winning the pennant in his hometown of Chicago — and anytime popular teammate Bartolo Colon pitched at Citi Field. The club showed a tribute video just before the game and Granderson smiled as he pointed at a live camera while getting loose on the field.
Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin moved to shortstop in the eighth inning, his first major league appearance at the position. Martin became the seventh Toronto shortstop this season. “For me, it was the only cool thing that happened in the game,” he said. “Kind of call it a dream come true. Wish the circumstances were a little bit different.”
Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki (right heel) began running on an anti-gravity treadmill. He is taking grounders hit at him and will progress to live batting practice this week before a follow-up appointment with his surgeon next week. ... SS Aledmys Diaz (sprained right ankle) is hitting and running on the anti-gravity treadmill at the team’s complex in Florida. RHP Marcus Stroman (right shoulder fatigue) will report there on Thursday. ... OF-1B Steve Pearce (strained left oblique) reported improvement but isn’t ready to begin baseball activities. ... OF Randal Grichuk (sprained right knee) is running and going through outfield drills.
Mets: Cespedes sat out after an MRI revealed a mild right hip flexor strain. GM Sandy Alderson said the team will decide in the next few days whether to put the All-Star outfielder on the 10-day disabled list. Cespedes has been dealing with the nagging injury for more than a week. ... Frazier (strained left hamstring) is eligible to come off the 10-day DL on Friday.
Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ (4-3, 4.80 ERA) faces RHP Zack Wheeler (2-2, 5.03) on Wednesday afternoon.
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