New York at Toronto

N.Y. Mets
W: D. Gee (3-3) L: H. Alvarez (3-4)
S: F. Francisco (10)
HR: NYM - None   TOR - J. Bautista (11)

Baxter's three hits put Mets over Jays wire reports

TORONTO -- Mike Baxter erased some bad memories with a big day at the plate.

Baxter had a career-high three hits and came within a home run of the cycle, Dillon Gee won for the first time in four starts and the New York Mets held on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Sunday.

The Mets had lost four of five, but avoided a sweep by improving to 12-6 in day games.

"When you come back and take the third game of a series like that with pretty much a total team effort today, it's a great way to leave town and it's a good note to go to Pittsburgh on," Baxter said. The Mets open a three-game series against the Pirates on Monday night.

Baxter was called out at second base trying to stretch a double in the ninth inning of Saturday's loss, left frustrated about a phantom tag from Toronto's Yunel Escobar that denied New York a chance for a late rally.

There were no such frustrations Sunday. Baxter doubled and scored in the first, tripled home a run in the second and singled and scored in the fifth. He had two chances to complete his cycle, but he grounded out in the sixth and walked in the eighth.

"It crossed my mind, but I didn't really want to get away from what I've been doing," Baxter said. "I just want to try and keep the same approach. I don't want to start messing with it."

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Baxter said he once hit for the cycle in the minor leagues, rounding the bases on an inside the park home run.

With a major league-best eight pinch hits in 17 at bats, Baxter has been a key weapon off the bench for Mets manager Terry Collins. He's starting to prove himself just as valuable in the starting lineup, going 7 for 15 in his past five games.

"His bat is speaking for itself and when you've got a red-hot bat like his, you've got to get him in there," Collins said.

New York third baseman David Wright, who missed Saturday's game due to illness, returned to the lineup and went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a walk, raising his majors-leading average to .412. Wright also struck out twice, once with the bases loaded.

Jose Bautista homered for Toronto, his 11th, but the Blue Jays failed to extend their season-high four-game winning streak.

Gee (3-3) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, leaving for reliever Bobby Parnell after Bautista's RBI single in the seventh. He walked four and struck out six.

After allowing seven runs in a loss to Milwaukee last week, Gee said he was "effectively wild" against Toronto.

"I was all over the place today," Gee said. "Last game I felt great and I gave up seven runs. Today I felt terrible, like I couldn't throw a strike, and I give up three. I don't know. It's a crazy game."

Parnell worked one inning, Tim Byrdak got one out in the eighth and Frank Francisco finished for his 10th save in 12 chances.

Escobar walked to begin the ninth and moved to second on Bautista's single, but Francisco ended it by striking out Edwin Encarnacion, J.P. Arencibia and Eric Thames.

"When Jose got the hit I said `Oh boy, let's see what happens here,"' Collins said. "He reached back for a little extra."

Francisco, who blew four saves while with Toronto last season, was booed when he took the mound. Asked afterward about the hostile reception, he explained it with a humorous reply.

"They love me and I left," Francisco said.

New York opened the scoring with three runs in the first. Wright doubled in two with a shot to center. Two outs later, Wright scored when center fielder Colby Rasmus couldn't hold on to Kirk Nieuwenhuis' bloop double, with the ball dropping out of his glove after a sliding catch.

Manager John Farrell came out to argue with umpire Mark Wegner, but the call stood.

The Mets added one more in the second on Baxter's RBI triple to right.

Toronto answered in the bottom half on an RBI single by Yan Gomes, and cut it to 4-2 on Bautista's leadoff drive to left in the third.

New York pushed its lead back to four and chased Blue Jays starter Henderson Alvarez with a two-run fifth. Daniel Murphy grounded an RBI single to center and Ike Davis drove in a run with a fielder's choice.

Bautista chased Gee with an RBI single in the seventh and Toronto closed to within 6-5 by scoring twice off Parnell in the eighth. Arencibia and Thames hit consecutive doubles and Colby Rasmus snapped an 0-for-20 slump with an RBI single.

Alvarez (3-4) lost his second straight start and matched a career-high by giving up six earned runs, as many as he'd allowed in his previous five starts combined. Alvarez allowed nine hits in a season-low five innings, walked two and struck out three.

"He was so strong coming out of the bullpen that he was almost throwing through his sink," Farrell said. "Some fastballs straightened out, they got up in the zone."

The slumping Davis went 1 for 4 with a double, raising his average to .163, but was replaced by pinch-hitter Scott Hairston with men at first and second in the ninth.

"With the Ike Davis we know he can be, I wouldn't [pinch hit] there," Collins said. "I just wanted to add on."


  • Wright's first-inning single was the 1,301st career hit, moving him past Jose Reyes into sole possession of second place on New York's all-time list.
  • The Mets placed RHP Miguel Batista (back) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Chris Schwinden from Triple-A Buffalo.
  • Rasmus returned to the lineup after failing to start the past two games.
  • Bautista started at DH Sunday, with Ben Francisco starting in RF. Francisco was replaced by Rajai Davis in the sixth after complaining of a tight left hamstring.
  • Blue Jays 1B Edwin Encarnacion fell into the camera bay next to the visitor's dugout while catching a foul pop up by Cedeno for the final out of the fifth.
  • The crowd of 41,867 was Toronto's biggest since an opening day sellout.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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The Mets' Dillon Gee allows three runs in 6 2/3 innings to beat the Blue Jays for his first win in four starts.   (Getty Images)
The Mets' Dillon Gee allows three runs in 6 2/3 innings to beat the Blue Jays for his first win in four starts. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
New York

M. Baxter
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0

J. Bautista
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1

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New York Mets
Andres Torres, DH4100114 .200
Mike Baxter, LF4231100 .390
David Wright, 3B4122124 .412
Lucas Duda, RF4100113 .265
Daniel Murphy, 2B5011013 .319
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF3011211 .277
Ike Davis, 1B4011001 .163
   a- Scott Hairston, PH1000012 .253
    Justin Turner, 1B0000000 .204
Ronny Cedeno, SS5120014 .233
Rob Johnson, C4020010 .333
a-struck out for Davis in the 9th
2B - Mike Baxter (7, Alvarez), David Wright (14, Alvarez), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (7, Alvarez), Ike Davis (4, Villanueva), Rob Johnson (1, Alvarez)
3B - Mike Baxter (1, Alvarez)
RBI - Mike Baxter (8), David Wright 2 (24), Daniel Murphy (16), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (13), Ike Davis (15)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Baxter (5), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (8)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Murphy-Davis
E - Ronny Cedeno (2, Misplayed grounder), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (2, Misplayed grounder)
New York Mets
Dillon Gee (W,3-3) 6.2533461 5.44
Bobby Parnell (H,9) 1322010 2.84
Tim Byrdak (H,10) 0.1000000 3.09
Frank Francisco (S,10) 1100130 7.56
HBP - Gomes (by Dillon Gee)
Pitches-Strikes - Dillon Gee 113-67, Bobby Parnell 19-13, Tim Byrdak 5-3, Frank Francisco 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dillon Gee 11-3, Bobby Parnell 2-0
Batters Faced - Dillon Gee 30, Bobby Parnell 6, Tim Byrdak 1, Frank Francisco 5
Toronto Blue Jays
Kelly Johnson, 2B5010024 .261
Yunel Escobar, SS3000202 .254
Jose Bautista, DH5132013 .217
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B5000025 .263
J.P. Arencibia, C5120014 .256
Eric Thames, LF5111023 .256
Ben Francisco, RF1100100 .206
    Rajai Davis, RF2000012 .255
Colby Rasmus, CF3011101 .206
Yan Gomes, 3B2111111 .400
2B - J.P. Arencibia (7, Parnell), Eric Thames (6, Parnell)
HR - Jose Bautista (11, Gee)
RBI - Jose Bautista 2 (25), Eric Thames (10), Colby Rasmus (15), Yan Gomes (3)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Bautista (9)
Team LOB - 10
PB - J.P. Arencibia (5)
Toronto Blue Jays
Henderson Alvarez (L,3-4) 5966230 3.30
Luis Perez 2000120 2.86
Carlos Villanueva 1300120 5.06
Darren Oliver 0.2000210 1.32
Francisco Cordero 0.1000010 6.89
Pitches-Strikes - Henderson Alvarez 90-60, Luis Perez 34-19, Carlos Villanueva 21-12, Darren Oliver 18-8, Francisco Cordero 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Henderson Alvarez 9-3, Luis Perez 3-1
Batters Faced - Henderson Alvarez 26, Luis Perez 7, Carlos Villanueva 6, Darren Oliver 4, Francisco Cordero 1
Game Information
Attendance - 41867
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski