Eovaldi flirts with perfection as Rays rout Mets 9-0

NEW YORK (AP) The weather was nearly perfect and so was Nathan Eovaldi.

The right-hander retired his first 18 batters, C.J. Cron hit an early three-run homer and the Tampa Bay Rays routed the New York Mets 9-0 on Sunday.

''The fastball location was really there, and the cutter,'' Eovaldi said. ''Those two pitches I really felt like I located probably the best I could have.''

Eovaldi took a perfect game into the seventh before Brandon Nimmo lined a leadoff single to right field. Nimmo was quickly erased on a double play, and Eovaldi faced the minimum while needing only 79 pitches to get through seven innings.

''I was trying to back-door that cutter and I missed down and in, and that's right in his swing path,'' he said.

Eovaldi, who returned this season from his second Tommy John surgery, struck out nine and helped himself with an RBI single. Andrew Kittredge pitched the final two innings for the Rays, giving up a single in the ninth before finishing the two-hitter.

Joey Wendle and Jake Bauers also homered for Tampa Bay, which has won 11 of 15.

It was the second time this season Eovaldi (3-3) made it through six innings without allowing a hit. He threw six hitless innings in May against Oakland for a 6-0 Rays win in his first major league start since 2016.

''Cutter was really good today. Amazing,'' catcher Jesus Sucre said. ''His fastball was so sharp today. They didn't have a chance.''

Three times this year Eovaldi has gone six or more innings and given up no more than one hit, tied with Pittsburgh's Trevor Williams for most in the majors.

''Credit to him for pitching well, but you never want to get no-hit. You never want to be a part of that,'' Nimmo said.

Cron's home run gave the Rays a 3-0 lead in the first. He connected on a fastball down the middle from Chris Flexen (0-2) and drove it into the second deck in left field. The homer was Cron's 17th of the season, setting a career high.

''As long as it gets over, I'm happy,'' Cron said.

Flexen, making his first big league start since last September, struggled with command early. He lasted only three innings on a day when the Mets needed length from their starter ahead of a doubleheader Monday. He gave up five earned runs in three innings, walking three and hitting a batter with a pitch.

''Not throwing enough strikes, not throwing enough quality strikes when I need them,'' Flexen said.

Eovaldi knocked in a run in the fifth when he beat out an infield single to make it 6-0.

A day after putting the leadoff hitter on in seven of nine innings, the listless Mets were shut out for the second consecutive game. They've been blanked eight times this season - seven at home - and have gone 14 straight series without winning one.

New York is 3-17 in its last 20 home games and has dropped 30 of 40 overall.

It was the second time this season Tampa Bay has thrown consecutive shutouts. All eight of the team's shutouts have come since May 28, and the Rays have a 1.82 ERA in their last 15 games.

ROSTER MOVES

Flexen was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. To open a roster spot, the Mets optioned RHP Drew Smith to their top farm team.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: RHP Chaz Roe was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left meniscus tear. He will have a procedure Friday and is expected to miss at least four to six weeks. RHP Jaime Schultz was recalled from Triple-A. ... Gold Glove CF Kevin Kiermaier did not start due to back tightness. ... SS Willy Adames sat out for the second consecutive day due to illness. ... 2B Daniel Robertson was hit by a pitch on the inside of his right elbow in the first but stayed in the game. ... OF Mallex Smith left with leg cramps after running the bases in the fifth.

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard threw 71 pitches for Class A Brooklyn against Staten Island, his first rehab start since being placed on the disabled list May 26 with a strained ligament in his right index finger. Syndergaard allowed one run and two hits in five innings, with seven strikeouts and a walk. ... LHP Jason Vargas will make a rehab start for Brooklyn on Monday. He has been sidelined since June 22 with a strained right calf. ... SS Amed Rosario was given a planned day off. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Rosario will play both games Monday against Philadelphia.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (3-4, 4.24 ERA) pitches the series opener Monday night at home against Detroit. It will be Archer's first start since June 2 when he was placed on the DL for the first time in his career with a left abdominal strain. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said Archer will be limited to ''loosely'' 70 pitches.

Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.36 ERA) starts the opener against the Phillies, and RHP Corey Oswalt (0-1, 7.94) goes in the nightcap as the teams make up an April 2 postponement.

---

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
TB45-44
302011020990
NYM35-51
000000000020
  • W: N. Eovaldi (3-3)L: C. Flexen (0-2)
  • HR: TB - C. Cron (17), J. Wendle (3), J. Bauers (3)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
J. Wendle LF32211201.276.325.366.69110.0
M. Duffy 3B31000202.306.358.410.7683.0
J. Bauers RF33211202.240.372.460.83212.0
C. Cron 1B51231001.244.320.455.7749.0
D. Robertson 2B41120002.261.391.410.8015.0
A. Hechavarria SS41000113.250.278.328.6061.5
M. Smith CF20110101.276.342.378.7204.0
J. Field CF20000010.214.254.375.629-0.5
J. Sucre C40000111.224.280.247.5270.5
N. Eovaldi P40110032.143.143.143.2860.5
A. Kittredge P10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    B. Nimmo CF30100110.262.386.515.9011.5
    W. Flores 1B-2B40000013.263.319.452.770-0.5
    A. Cabrera 2B30000021.280.328.479.806-1.0
    K. Plawecki 1B0000-000.225.361.382.000-
    M. Conforto RF20000100.223.344.374.7171.0
    T. Frazier 3B30000011.217.300.385.685-0.5
    D. Smith LF30000030.207.233.379.613-1.5
    D. Mesoraco C30100010.236.322.427.7490.5
    J. Reyes SS30000010.175.248.246.494-0.5
    C. Flexen P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    a- K. Kaczmarski PH10000000.000.333.000.3330.0
    C. Beck P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    b- A. Rosario PH10000000.236.282.347.6290.0
    T. Bashlor P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    P. Sewald P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    T. Peterson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    c- J. Bautista PH10000001.216.376.433.8090.0
    • a-flied out for Flexen in the 3rd
    • b-grounded out for Beck in the 6th
    • c-fouled out for Peterson in the 9th
    BATTING
    • 2B - J. Bauers (9), M. Smith (13)
    • HR - J. Wendle (3), J. Bauers (3), C. Cron (17)
    • RBI - J. Wendle (22), J. Bauers (10), C. Cron 3 (42), D. Robertson 2 (24), M. Smith (19), N. Eovaldi
    • 2-Out RBI - M. Smith (10), N. Eovaldi
    FIELDING
    • DP - 2 (Robertson-Duffy-Cron; Hechavarria-Robertson-Cron)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Reyes-Cabrera-Flores)
    • PB - D. Mesoraco (5)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    N. Eovaldi (W, 3-3)7.01000903.350.8134.5
    A. Kittredge2.01002108.681.933.5
    PITCHERSIP
    N. Eovaldi (W, 3-3)7.0
    A. Kittredge2.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Flexen (L, 0-2)3.055532112.793.16-8.0
    C. Beck3.02224014.501.591.0
    T. Bashlor1.00000104.760.883.5
    P. Sewald1.02222215.181.33-2.0
    T. Peterson1.00000203.140.774.0
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Flexen (L, 0-2)3.0
    C. Beck3.0
    T. Bashlor1.0
    P. Sewald1.0
    T. Peterson1.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - A. Kittredge
    • Pitches-Strikes - N. Eovaldi 79-59, A. Kittredge 31-18
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - N. Eovaldi 5-6, A. Kittredge 2-2
    • Batters Faced - N. Eovaldi 21, A. Kittredge 8
    PITCHING
    • IBB - C. Flexen
    • HBP - C. Flexen
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Flexen 76-40, C. Beck 48-26, T. Bashlor 12-8, P. Sewald 29-19, T. Peterson 13-8
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Flexen 2-5, C. Beck 5-3, P. Sewald 1-0
    • Batters Faced - C. Flexen 18, C. Beck 14, T. Bashlor 3, P. Sewald 7, T. Peterson 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    TB45-44
    302011020990
    NYM35-51
    000000000020
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Wendle LF32211201.276.325.366.69110.0
    M. Duffy 3B31000202.306.358.410.7683.0
    J. Bauers RF33211202.240.372.460.83212.0
    C. Cron 1B51231001.244.320.455.7749.0
    D. Robertson 2B41120002.261.391.410.8015.0
    A. Hechavarria SS41000113.250.278.328.6061.5
    M. Smith CF20110101.276.342.378.7204.0
    J. Field CF20000010.214.254.375.629-0.5
    J. Sucre C40000111.224.280.247.5270.5
    N. Eovaldi P40110032.143.143.143.2860.5
    A. Kittredge P10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
    Total3599939715-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      B. Nimmo CF30100110.262.386.515.9011.5
      W. Flores 1B-2B40000013.263.319.452.770-0.5
      A. Cabrera 2B30000021.280.328.479.806-1.0
      K. Plawecki 1B0000-000.225.361.382.000-
      M. Conforto RF20000100.223.344.374.7171.0
      T. Frazier 3B30000011.217.300.385.685-0.5
      D. Smith LF30000030.207.233.379.613-1.5
      D. Mesoraco C30100010.236.322.427.7490.5
      J. Reyes SS30000010.175.248.246.494-0.5
      C. Flexen P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      a- K. Kaczmarski PH10000000.000.333.000.3330.0
      C. Beck P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      b- A. Rosario PH10000000.236.282.347.6290.0
      T. Bashlor P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      P. Sewald P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      T. Peterson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      c- J. Bautista PH10000001.216.376.433.8090.0
      Total2702002106-----
      • a-flied out for Flexen in the 3rd
      • b-grounded out for Beck in the 6th
      • c-fouled out for Peterson in the 9th
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Bauers (9), M. Smith (13)
      • HR - J. Wendle (3), J. Bauers (3), C. Cron (17)
      • RBI - J. Wendle (22), J. Bauers (10), C. Cron 3 (42), D. Robertson 2 (24), M. Smith (19), N. Eovaldi
      • 2-Out RBI - M. Smith (10), N. Eovaldi
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Robertson-Duffy-Cron; Hechavarria-Robertson-Cron)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Reyes-Cabrera-Flores)
      • PB - D. Mesoraco (5)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      N. Eovaldi (W, 3-3)7.01000903.350.8134.5
      A. Kittredge2.01002108.681.933.5
      Total9.02002100---
      PITCHERSIP
      N. Eovaldi (W, 3-3)7.0
      A. Kittredge2.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Flexen (L, 0-2)3.055532112.793.16-8.0
      C. Beck3.02224014.501.591.0
      T. Bashlor1.00000104.760.883.5
      P. Sewald1.02222215.181.33-2.0
      T. Peterson1.00000203.140.774.0
      Total10.0999993---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Flexen (L, 0-2)3.0
      C. Beck3.0
      T. Bashlor1.0
      P. Sewald1.0
      T. Peterson1.0
      Total10.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - A. Kittredge
      • Pitches-Strikes - N. Eovaldi 79-59, A. Kittredge 31-18
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - N. Eovaldi 5-6, A. Kittredge 2-2
      • Batters Faced - N. Eovaldi 21, A. Kittredge 8
      PITCHING
      • IBB - C. Flexen
      • HBP - C. Flexen
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Flexen 76-40, C. Beck 48-26, T. Bashlor 12-8, P. Sewald 29-19, T. Peterson 13-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Flexen 2-5, C. Beck 5-3, P. Sewald 1-0
      • Batters Faced - C. Flexen 18, C. Beck 14, T. Bashlor 3, P. Sewald 7, T. Peterson 3
      • 8TH INNING
        Robertson reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Duffy scored, Bauers to third, Cron out at second90
        Wendle homered to right80
      • 6TH INNING
        Bauers homered to right70
      • 5TH INNING
        Eovaldi singled to shallow right, Hechavarria scored60
      • 3RD INNING
        Smith doubled to deep left, Robertson scored50
        Robertson singled to center, Bauers scored40
      • 1ST INNING
        Cron homered to left center, Wendle and Bauers scored30
      • 9TH INNING
        • Timothy Peterson relieved Paul Sewald
        • J. Field: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Field flied out to deep right
        • J. Sucre: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Sucre struck out swinging
        • A. Kittredge: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Kittredge struck out looking
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • A. Kittredge Pitching:
        • D. Mesoraco: Strike looking, Strike looking, Mesoraco singled to left
        • J. Reyes: Reyes grounded out to first, Mesoraco to second
        • Jose Bautista hit for Kevin Plawecki
        • J. Bautista: Ball, Mesoraco to third on wild pitch, Foul, Bautista fouled out to first
        • B. Nimmo: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Nimmo walked
        • W. Flores: Strike looking, Nimmo to second on fielder's indifference, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Flores lined out to shortstop
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Paul Sewald pitching
        • Kevin Plawecki at first base
        • N. Eovaldi: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Eovaldi struck out looking
        • J. Wendle: Foul, Wendle homered to right
        • M. Duffy: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Duffy walked
        • J. Bauers: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bauers walked, Duffy to second
        • C. Cron: Strike looking, Cron singled to left, Duffy to third, Bauers to second
        • D. Robertson: Foul, Ball, Robertson reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Duffy scored, Bauers to third, Cron out at second
        • A. Hechavarria: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Hechavarria struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Andrew Kittredge relieved Nathan Eovaldi
        • M. Conforto: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Conforto walked
        • T. Frazier: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Frazier grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Conforto out at second
        • D. Smith: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Smith struck out swinging
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Tyler Bashlor pitching
        • A. Hechavarria: Strike looking, Ball, Hechavarria flied out to right
        • J. Field: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Field struck out swinging
        • J. Sucre: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Sucre fouled out to right
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • N. Eovaldi Pitching:
        • B. Nimmo: Foul, Nimmo singled to right
        • W. Flores: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Flores struck out swinging
        • A. Cabrera: Foul, Foul, Foul, Cabrera grounded into double play second to third to first, Nimmo out at second
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • C. Beck Pitching:
        • M. Duffy: Duffy grounded out to third
        • J. Bauers: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Bauers homered to right
        • C. Cron: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Cron grounded out to shortstop
        • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Robertson grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • N. Eovaldi Pitching:
        • D. Mesoraco: Mesoraco fouled out to catcher
        • J. Reyes: Ball, Foul, Reyes grounded out to first
        • Amed Rosario hit for Chris Beck
        • A. Rosario: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Rosario grounded out to first
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • C. Beck Pitching:
        • A. Hechavarria: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Hechavarria walked
        • M. Smith: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Smith walked, Hechavarria to second
        • J. Sucre: Foul, Sucre grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Hechavarria to third, Smith out at second
        • N. Eovaldi: Eovaldi singled to shallow right, Hechavarria scored
        • J. Wendle: Strike looking, Wendle grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Johnny Field in center field
        • M. Conforto: Conforto popped out to third
        • T. Frazier: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Frazier flied out to right
        • D. Smith: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Smith struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • Chris Beck pitching
        • J. Wendle: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Wendle walked
        • M. Duffy: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Duffy walked, Wendle to second
        • J. Bauers: Ball, Bauers lined out to left
        • C. Cron: Cron flied out to right, Wendle to third, Duffy to second
        • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Robertson popped out to second
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • N. Eovaldi Pitching:
        • B. Nimmo: Strike (foul tip), Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Nimmo struck out swinging
        • W. Flores: Ball, Foul, Ball, Flores flied out to right
        • A. Cabrera: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Cabrera struck out swinging
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • C. Flexen Pitching:
        • J. Bauers: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Bauers doubled to left center
        • C. Cron: Ball, Ball, Bauers to third on passed ball, Foul, Ball, Cron grounded out to shortstop
        • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Robertson singled to center, Bauers scored
        • A. Hechavarria: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Hechavarria grounded out to pitcher, Robertson to second
        • M. Smith: Ball, Smith doubled to deep left, Robertson scored
        • J. Sucre: Foul, Ball, Sucre intentionally walked
        • N. Eovaldi: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Eovaldi struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 3rd (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • N. Eovaldi Pitching:
        • D. Mesoraco: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Mesoraco struck out swinging
        • J. Reyes: Strike looking, Foul, Foul tip, Reyes struck out on foul tip
        • Kevin Kaczmarski hit for Chris Flexen
        • K. Kaczmarski: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Kaczmarski flied out to shallow left
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • C. Flexen Pitching:
        • J. Sucre: Ball, Foul, Foul, Sucre flied out to center
        • N. Eovaldi: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Eovaldi struck out looking
        • J. Wendle: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Wendle walked
        • M. Duffy: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Duffy lined out to right
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • N. Eovaldi Pitching:
        • M. Conforto: Ball, Strike looking, Conforto grounded out to second
        • T. Frazier: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Frazier struck out on foul tip
        • D. Smith: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Smith struck out swinging
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • C. Flexen Pitching:
        • J. Wendle: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Wendle singled to right
        • M. Duffy: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Duffy lined out to left
        • J. Bauers: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bauers walked, Wendle to second
        • C. Cron: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Cron homered to left center, Wendle and Bauers scored
        • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Robertson hit by pitch
        • A. Hechavarria: Strike swinging, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Hechavarria popped out to second
        • M. Smith: Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Smith popped out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 1st (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • N. Eovaldi Pitching:
        • B. Nimmo: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Nimmo grounded out to second
        • W. Flores: Strike looking, Ball, Flores fouled out to catcher
        • A. Cabrera: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Cabrera struck out swinging
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)