Mets-Blue Jays Preview

Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero is no longer

undefeated, but he has to like his chances of getting back on track

with interleague play about to get underway.

Romero looks to continue his dominance of the NL and help the

Blue Jays avoid a 15th loss in 19 meetings with the New York Mets

as the teams open a three-game set Friday night at Rogers


Romero (4-1, 3.88 ERA), who mostly cruised through his first

seven starts, was knocked around during Sunday’s 4-3 loss at

Minnesota. He yielded four runs and a season-high nine hits over 5

1-3 innings, failing to strike anyone out for the first time in 101

career outings.

“We’ve got to get Ricky right. He’s not been sharp in two starts

in a row. The walk totals have been abnormally high for him,”

manager John Farrell said after Romero issued five free passes for

the second consecutive start. “It seems like his arm’s not catching

up. It’s a matter of staying over the rubber a little bit longer

and allowing his arm to catch up.”

Interleague play could be coming at just the right time for

Romero, who’s 4-2 with a 1.88 ERA in nine career starts against the


The Blue Jays, who went 8-10 in interleague play last season,

haven’t faced the Mets (21-17) since dropping two of three June

23-25, 2006. New York has taken 14 of 18 all-time matchups with the

Blue Jays.

Mets third baseman David Wright went 2 for 2 to increase his

average to a major league-leading .411 on Thursday, scoring three

runs and driving in another during Thursday’s 9-4 win over

Cincinnati. He helped New York bounce back after blowing a late

lead Wednesday en route to a 6-3 defeat.

“I think what’s really special about (Thursday’s) game is that

people are going to talk about David, because what he’s doing is

mythical, it seems,” Mets starter R.A. Dickey told the team’s

official website. “And I don’t want to take away from that …

(but) everybody’s playing a part, and that’s why we’re able to come

back after tough losses like (Wednesday) night. It’s been really


Wright, who is batting .386 with four homers and 24 RBIs in his

last 17 interleague games, owns the highest season batting average

for a qualifying hitter on this date or later since 2008, when

Atlanta’s Chipper Jones was batting .412 on June 12.

“All is good,” Wright said. ” … I’m getting some pitches to

hit and I’m just not putting them in play.”

Regular Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie won’t put anything

in play this weekend. He’ll be serving the final three games of a

four-game suspension for throwing a batting helmet that bounced and

hit umpire Bill Miller.

Lawrie dropped his appeal and began serving his suspension

Thursday, but that didn’t prevent Toronto (21-18) from winning 4-1

to complete a two-game sweep of the Yankees. Jose Bautista homered

for the fifth time in seven games after leaving the yard just once

in his first 23 contests of 2012.

“If going deep five times in seven games isn’t locked in then

we’re in for a real treat if he’s yet to click in,” Farrell


Bautista hit eight homers and drove in 15 runs in 18 interleague

games last season.

Bautista will get his first look at Mets starter Jonathon Niese

(2-1, 3.40), who scattered five hits over six scoreless innings

Sunday, not factoring in the decision of an 8-4 loss at Miami.

The left-hander went 1-2 with a 5.17 ERA and a .354 opponent

batting average in three interleague starts last season. He has

never faced Toronto.