Blue Jays pour it on late in blanking of Mets
TORONTO -- All it took was a flight home to Canada for the Blue Jays to rediscover their winning ways. Kevin Pillar homered and collected three hits on Wednesday, and the Blue Jays piled on the offense late in an 8-0 win over Jon Niese and the Mets.
Coming off two straight losses in Queens, where they are 0-11 in franchise history, the Blue Jays improved to 21-12 at Rogers Centre this season. Compare that to their 14-20 record on the road.
Much of Wednesday's success was thanks to starter Drew Hutchison, who scattered four hits and a walk over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Four times in the first six innings, the Mets stranded a runner in scoring position against Hutchison and reliever Steve Delabar.
Unlike Hutchison, Niese stuck around long enough to give the Mets a quality start, though his outing included several more flaws. Chief among them were Pillar's second-inning RBI single and seventh-inning homer, resulting in two of the three runs against Niese. Chris Colabello added the other with a sixth-inning RBI hit, before Danny Valencia's three-run homer in the eighth capped a five-run rally off Mets reliever Akeel Morris to put the game out of reach. Morris, who was making his Major League debut, was sent down to Double-A Binghamton after the game.
"It's a tough lineup, one through nine," Niese said. "The part of the lineup that I didn't want to beat me, I was able to keep them in check for the most part. It was just the bottom of the lineup, the guys that got me."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pillar bounces back: A night after he committed a costly baserunning gaffe, Pillar came through huge at the plate for the Blue Jays. He capped off a big offensive night with a solo shot in the seventh to give the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead. All told, Pillar was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. More >
Not Niese enough: Though Niese has done a fine job keeping his team in games this month, he does not have a win since May 9. Niese appeared to settle in during the middle innings Wednesday, retiring seven straight from the third through the fifth. He even struck out Josh Donaldson twice. But runs in the sixth and seventh innings sullied his final line as the Mets fell to 10-20 on the road this season. More >
"May is behind me," Niese said. "June and the rest of the season is here, so that's what I'm worried about."
Valencia caps off big inning: Valencia's three-run shot in the eighth put the game well out of reach. The Blue Jays drew four walks while swatting a pair of singles in addition to Valencia's homer, tallying a total of five runs in the inning as their entire lineup came to the plate against a pair of Mets relievers.
"I try to hold it in most of the time, but making plays is fun ... why not smile?" -- Blue Jays second baseman Ryan Goins, on making big defensive plays
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Blue Jays came into the night with a .313/.372/.504 slash line against left-handed pitching, by far the big leagues' best in each of those categories. They finished 7-for-24 (.292) with four walks off the left-handed Niese.
Hutchison's home/road splits have been perplexing this season. The right-hander has registered five of his six wins at Rogers Centre, tallying a 2.38 ERA. But on the road, he's struggled. Hutchison has one road victory in seven starts with a 9.46 ERA. More >
Mets: Bartolo Colon will take on R.A. Dickey on Thursday at 7:07 p.m. ET in the league's first meeting of starting pitchers aged 40 or older since Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer squared off in 2008. Colon has given the Mets four consecutive quality starts, going 3-1 with a 3.46 ERA over that stretch.
Blue Jays: Dickey will take the mound against his old team searching for his first win since May 21. Dickey, 40, hasn't been able to pitch more than six innings in any of his last four outings. The right-hander is 2-6 with a 5.29 ERA in 13 starts this season.
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