Blue Jays try for sweep of struggling Mets
The Blue Jays (40-45) will try to complete a sweep of the two-game interleague set Wednesday when they send out right-hander Marcus Stroman (1-5, 6.02 ERA) at the Rogers Centre. The struggling Mets (33-49) will start right-hander Corey Oswalt (0-1, 9.82), who will be making his second career major league start.
The teams split two games at Citi Field on May 15 and 16.
The Blue Jays will need a solid start from Stroman, who will be making his third start since returning from the disabled list after being sidelined with inflammation of the right shoulder. It would help a well-used bullpen if he could pitch deep into the game.
They lost their starter Tuesday, right-hander Marco Estrada, after one-third of an inning. After giving up a two-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera, Estrada made two pitches to the next batter before leaving with a sore left hip. X-rays were negative, but the extent of the injury was not known.
The Blue Jays needed seven relievers to work through the game. There likely will be a roster move before the game on Wednesday. Seunghwan Oh was the only reliever not to pitch for the Blue Jays.
The victory spoiled the return of former Blue Jays star Jose Bautista, who was playing in Toronto for the first time since last season. He received a standing ovation and in five plate appearances, he had three walks and a single. He also committed a two-base error in right field, letting a single get past him in the seventh inning.
The Mets, who have lost 11 of their last 13 games, also had an injury Tuesday. Catcher Devin Mesoraco, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning, left the game in the bottom of the seventh after being hit on the helmet by an errant pitch and by a backswing in consecutive innings. Manager Mickey Callaway said that he had passed concussion protocol so far. Kevin Plawecki took over behind the plate.
Stroman, who experienced shoulder problems in spring training, has come on strong after being on the disabled list from May 9-June 22.
He pitched five runless innings on his return June 23, allowing six hits against the Los Angeles Angels. He came back Friday to hold the Detroit Tigers to two runs (one earned) and four hits over seven innings to earn his first win of the season.
“I’m just back to being myself,” Stroman said. “That wasn’t me earlier in the year, so I’m just happy to be back. Body feels good, I feel in sync. Everything’s coming out very easily.”
Stroman has never faced the Mets. He will, however, be facing a former teammate in Bautista.
“It will be fun,” Bautista said.
They have faced each other in one game.
Stroman, pitching for the United States, faced Bautista, who was playing for the Dominican Republic, in March, 2017, during the World Baseball Classic. Bautista fouled out and struck out. It was the only time they have faced each other competitively.
“I think I’ve given him too many secrets over the years, it will be interesting,” Bautista said.
Oswalt, in his first career start Friday, allowed six runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings in an 8-2 loss to the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park.
He was starting on short notice.
Callaway said he was having trouble with his breaking pitches.
“I think that even in the first two innings he didn’t have any of his breaking stuff,” Callaway said after the game. “So, I think they kind of figured out he was struggling with getting that stuff over, so they were just sitting on fastballs and they put a few in play.”
The 24-year-old made 10 starts at Triple-A Las Vegas, going 4-4 with a 5.32 ERA. In four stints with the Mets, he has made two appearances. He made his major league debut April 26 in St. Louis against the Cardinals, allowing two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.
The Mets are 6-9 in Toronto all time.