TORONTO (AP) — Mike Baxter had 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.
Baxter doubled and scored in the first, tripled home a run in the second and singled and scored in the fifth to help the Mets avoid a three-game sweep. Baxter had two chances to complete his cycle, but he grounded out in the sixth and walked in the eighth.
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.
Parnell worked one inning, Tim Byrdak got one out in the eighth and Frank Francisco finished for his 10th save in 12 chances.
Yunel 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.
The Mets had lost four of five coming in but improved to 12-6 in day games.
New York opened the scoring with three runs in the first. Andres Torres walked, Baxter doubled and Wright followed with a two-run double 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 when Ronny Cedeno led off with a single and scored on Baxter’s two-out 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 right-hander 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.
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.
NOTES: 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.
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