Gurriel Jr. hits tiebreaking HR, Jays rally to beat Mets 8-6
TORONTO (AP) — In line for his first win in more than two months, Zack Wheeler had to watch as the New York Mets bullpen turned a five-run lead into a two-run deficit.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a tiebreaking two-run home run in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the struggling Mets 8-6 on Tuesday night.
“Wheeler threw a gem,” said Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak, who allowed three runs. “We should have won this game.”
Yangervis Solarte hit a game-tying three-run home run off Robert Gsellman in the seventh before Gurriel Jr. went deep off Tim Peterson (1-1) in the eighth as the Blue Jays won for the 11th time in 14 home games.
“A couple of pitches that we didn’t quite execute, and they put them out of the park,” New York manager Mickey Callaway said.
The Mets have lost 11 of 13.
John Axford (2-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings to earn the win. Tyler Clippard got the final out for his sixth save in 10 opportunities, stranding runners at first and second.
Wheeler allowed two runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings but was denied his first victory since April 29 at San Diego.
“He did great job tonight,” Callaway said. “Obviously deserved a better fate than he got.”
Wheeler pitched seven scoreless innings against Pittsburgh in his previous start but the Mets lost 5-3.
“This is a good little stretch right now and hopefully I can keep it going,” Wheeler said.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Devin Mesoraco each hit two-run home runs for the Mets. Wilmer Flores added a solo shot.
Cabrera connected against Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada in the first and Mesoraco homered off Jake Petricka in the second.
Estrada was removed after 12 pitches because of a sore left hip. He faced three batters and got one out. Estrada allowed two runs and one hit.
“His left hip has been bothering him a little bit,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “It was bothering him in his last start but it was worse tonight.”
X-rays were negative. Estrada was undergoing an MRI following the game.
Petricka replaced Estrada and pitched 2 2/3 innings.
Mets outfielder Jose Bautista went 1 for 2 with a single and three walks in his first game in Toronto since leaving the Blue Jays at the end of last season, ending a 10-year run north of the border.
The crowd of 24,010 gave Bautista a standing ovation before his first at bat. The two-time home run champion took off his batting helmet and acknowledged both the fans and the Blue Jays dugout before drawing a five-pitch walk and scoring on Cabrera’s 15th homer.
“Great to be recognized, great to acknowledge the fans and great to know they feel good I’m back and wanted to recognize me,” Bautista said.
Bautista made a diving catch to retire Russell Martin for the final out of the second but was charged with a two-base error in the seventh when Randal Grichuk’s single skipped past him and rolled to the wall.
“I was actually going to try to make a play at first,” Bautista said. “It was a good one to make an attempt, but the ball bounced a little higher than expected.”
Kevin Plawecki replaced Mesoraco at catcher in the seventh. Mesoraco was struck on the helmet by the carom when Travis was hit by a pitch in the fifth. Mesoraco was hit again by a swing in the sixth.
Callaway said Mesoraco passed concussion tests but would be monitored overnight.
The Blue Jays played Bautista’s old walk-up music, Usher’s “OMG,” before his first at bat. “That caught me by surprise,” Bautista said.
Mets: OF Yoenis Cespedes (right hip) felt fine after running a series of sprints Monday, manager Mickey Callaway said. It was the first time Cespedes had run since leaving a minor league rehab game June 9. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard (right index finger) and LHP Jason Vargas (right calf) faced each other in a simulated game at the Mets’ spring training facility in Florida Tuesday. Syndergaard threw 50 pitches and Vargas threw 65.
Blue Jays: RHP Seunghawn Oh (flu-like symptoms) was not available. ... Minor league 3B prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (left knee) has resumed batting practice and is expected to participate in infield drills this weekend. Guerrero Jr. is working out at Toronto’s spring training facility in Florida.
Mets RHP Corey Oswalt (0-1, 9.82) faces Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman (1-5, 6.02) in Wednesday’s series finale. Oswalt made his major league debut against Miami on June 29, allowing six runs in 2 2/3 innings. Stroman won for the first time this season in his previous outing, pitching seven innings against Detroit.
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