Pinch hitter Jeff McNeil’s tie-breaking, two-run double capped a four-run sixth inning Sunday afternoon for the host New York Mets, who beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 in the rubber game of a three-game interleague series.
The Mets are 5-4 since the All-Star Break. The Blue Jays have lost four of five.
Rich Hill and Ross Stripling were locked in a pitcher’s duel before both teams broke through in the sixth.
The 41-year-old Hill, who was acquired by the Mets from the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, tossed just 49 pitches in the first five innings and was nursing a 1-0 lead before he opened the sixth by plunking George Springer, allowing a single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and walking Marcus Semien. Seth Lugo (3-1) relieved Hill and surrendered a two-run single to Bo Bichette and a run-scoring fielder’s choice grounder by Teoscar Hernandez.
Stripling was pulled for Ryan Borucki, who combined with Jacob Barnes (1-2) to squander the lead in the bottom half. Michael Conforto drew a one-out walk before Pete Alonso hit the game-tying two-run homer to left — his third round-tripper of the weekend and his fifth since winning the Home Run Derby on July 12.
With two outs, Barnes walked J.D. Davis and gave up a single to Jonathan Villar. McNeil, who hadn’t played since suffering a left leg injury on Wednesday, pinch-hit for Tomas Nido and worked the count full before lacing a long double to right-center for a 5-3 lead.
The Blue Jays cut the gap in half in the eighth, when Semien doubled off Trevor May, went to third on Bichette’s single and scored on Hernandez’s single. The runners advanced a base on Randal Grichuk’s fly out to center and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was intentionally walked before Aaron Loup retired Alejandro Kirk on a pop out and Cavan Biggio on a liner to left.
Edwin Diaz worked around a one-out walk of Guerrero and struck out three batters in the ninth to earn his 21st save.
Davis and Villar had two hits apiece. Villar’s RBI single in the second gave the Mets a 1-0 lead.
Semien, Bichette and Kirk all had two hits for the Blue Jays.
Hill allowed three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one. Stripling surrendered one run on five hits and no walks with six strikeouts.
–Field Level Media