The visiting New York Mets hope they have saved some runs for Saturday night when they will try to clinch their three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Buffalo.
The Mets (21-24) had a 10-run fourth inning and 19 hits while starter Jacob deGrom struck out nine Friday night as they cruised to an 18-1 victory over the Blue Jays (24-20) in the series opener.
The last time Toronto had allowed 10 or more runs in an inning was July 3, 2010 when the New York Yankees scored 11 in the third inning.
The Mets scored their most runs in a game since a 24-4 victory Aug. 16, 2018 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
It was the Mets’ second straight win while the Blue Jays have lost two in a row. The New York Yankees swept a doubleheader from the Baltimore Orioles on Friday and moved to within a half-game of second-place Toronto in the American League East.
“We’ve asked a lot of this young team and this developing team and they’ve been exceptionally resilient,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Friday. “They’ve answered every challenge. They haven’t made excuses. They continue to focus on one another and winning. Oftentimes that takes a lot of pressure off of individual performances. It makes it a lot more fun when guys are focused on the collective.”
The Mets are two games out of a National League wild-card spot.
By the end of his six-inning outing Friday, deGrom led the NL in ERA (1.67) and strikeouts (79). The Mets have scored 32 runs in his past two starts.
“We’ve just got to keep playing good baseball,” deGrom said. “We let some games get away from us this year that we probably should’ve won. But that’s behind us. Now we have to go out there every day, give 100 percent and try to win every game. The way the guys are swinging the bat right now, I feel like we’re in every game. They’re putting up big innings, scoring a lot of runs. Hopefully we can continue to do that and play good baseball.”
Right-hander Seth Lugo (2-2, 2.05 ERA) will start for the Mets on Saturday. Lugo is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two career relief outings against Toronto. In three starts this season, Lugo has a 1.54 ERA with 20 strikeouts and four walks over 11 2/3 innings. He also has nine relief appearances.
The Blue Jays will start left-hander Robbie Ray (1-4, 7.51 ERA) on Saturday. Ray is 0-0 with a 6.14 ERA in two appearances (one start) for Toronto since being acquired in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In five career starts against the Mets, he is 2-1 with a 5.78 ERA.
There are reinforcements coming for the Blue Jays. Closer Ken Giles returned from a forearm strain Friday night and allowed a solo homer in his one inning. His presence should help an overworked bullpen.
Shortstop Bo Bichette could rejoin the Blue Jays this weekend as he returns from a knee sprain.
Bichette played seven innings at shortstop Friday in an intrasquad game at the club’s alternate training site. Atkins said his return will be “based on how he’s reacting to each day’s workload and how soon he will be able to make an impact on the team.”
–Field Level Media