Megill earns 1st win, Alonso homers twice as Mets blank Jays, 3-0
By JERRY BEACH
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Tylor Megill tossed six scoreless innings for his first big league win and got his first career hit, Pete Alonso homered twice and the New York Mets defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 on Friday night.
Megill (1-0) allowed two hits, walked one and struck out five as the rookie right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.10 a few hours after the Mets bolstered their injury-plagued rotation by acquiring Rich Hill from Tampa Bay. New York has eight starters on the injured list, including ace Jacob deGrom.
The Mets are 5-1 in Megill’s six starts. The only loss was last Saturday, when Megill tossed six scoreless innings before the bullpen gave up nine runs over the final two innings of a 9-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“It started with him joining us with the need that we had and then he went from one good start to another good start,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “This guy’s here and he’s here to stay and has put us in position to win a lot of games already.”
Megill’s ERA through his first six big league starts is the fourth-lowest in team history, behind only Terry Leach (1.73), Nolan Ryan (1.98) and Dillon Gee (2.09).
“Just shows to myself that my stuff plays at this level,” said Megill, who hadn’t pitched above Single-A before this season. “I just go out there every time and fill (the strike zone) up, let them hit, let my defense work.”
Megill said he hadn’t yet collected any mementoes from the win but had already secured the ball from his hit, an opposite-field single in the fifth off Matz. The crowd of 28,126 gave him a warm ovation as he stood at first base.
“For a moment, I didn’t realize it was going on, just because I blacked out from getting a hit,” Megill said. “It was pretty cool. Something I’ll remember forever.”
Alonso continued his post-Home Run Derby surge, hitting a two-run shot off former teammate Steven Matz (8-5) in the first inning before adding a solo blast off Ryan Borucki in the eighth.
After each blast, Alonso carried a stuffed horse through the Mets’ dugout.
“The horse was in the dugout and I hit two homers,” Alonso said. “I think it’s working so far.”
Alonso has four homers in the last four games and 10 homers in his last 22 games.
“I feel like every single year, I want to be able to peak at the end of the season and really perform when it matters,” Alonso said. “I feel really good at the plate right now.”
The Blue Jays got just one runner beyond first base against Megill and a trio of relievers. Bo Bichette drew a one-out walk in the first and stole second as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. struck out but was stranded when George Springer — who was pursued by the Mets in the offseason before signing a six-year deal worth $150 million with Toronto — popped out to shortstop.
Seth Lugo tossed a one-hit seventh, Trevor May threw a perfect eighth and Edwin Diaz snapped a streak of three straight blown saves by striking out one in a perfect ninth for his 20th save.
The shutout loss was just the second of the season for the Blue Jays, who fell to the Kansas City Royals 2-0 on Apr. 18.
“I don’t care what kind of offense you’ve got, pitching is the name of the game,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We always talk about that and their guy was really good today, for sure.”
Matz, a Long Island native who was drafted in the second round by the Mets in 2009 and spent six years with the big league team, allowed four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
HILL’S DEBUT TBA: Rojas said before the game he didn’t know when Rich Hill would slot into the rotation. The Mets do not have starters listed yet for Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays or Monday’s doubleheader against Atlanta.
WELCOME MATZ: The Mets aired highlights of Matz’s six seasons with the team as he warmed up for the bottom of the first. The video included photos of the pitcher meeting with first responders, and a clip of his grandfather cheering him on during Matz’s big league debut June 28, 2015, when he went 3 for 3 with four RBIs and earned the win by tossing 7 2/3 strong innings.
The montage ended with the words “Welcome Back Steven” on the screen. Matz received a warm ovation as he doffed his cap before a few notes of his traditional warmup song, “Call Me The Breeze” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, played over the loudspeaker.
“Definitely had some emotions, had a lot of family there,” Matz said. “But after the first inning [he was] able to settle down and go to work.”
Rays 10, Indians 5
CLEVELAND — Nelson Cruz homered in his Tampa Bay debut and Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead single in a six-run ninth inning to help the Rays beat Cleveland.
On a day the Indians announced they will change their name to the Guardians at the conclusion of the season, a new name for the Rays helped them beat Cleveland for the 10th straight time.
Acquired a day earlier in a four-player trade with Minnesota, Cruz hit his 20th homer, walked and scored twice. The 41-year-old All-Star slugger is 46th on the career home run list with 437.
Ji-Man Choi added a three-run homer off Nick Wittgren (2-3), who faced six batters and allowed five runs. José Ramírez hit a three-run homer and drove in four for the Indians. Matt Wisler (3-3) worked two innings of relief.
Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 3
CHICAGO — Javier Báez homered, Robinson Chirinos went deep twice, Zach Davies earned his first victory since a combined no-hitter last month and Chicago beat Arizona.
Báez gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead in the first inning with a long three-run homer to left. The Cubs added three more in the third, capped by Nico Hoerner’s two-run single.
Chirinos made it 7-0 leading off the fourth against Zac Gallen (1-5). He also homered to start the sixth against Matt Peacock after Arizona scored two in the top half, helping Chicago win for just the sixth time in 23 games since Davies (6-6) and three relievers no-hit the Dodgers in Los Angeles on June 24.
Rookie Keegan Thompson worked the final three innings for his first career save.
Astros 7, Rangers 3
HOUSTON — Kyle Tucker hit a three-run homer in Houston’s big third inning to help the Astros hand Texas its 10th straight loss.
After Yordan Alvarez hit an RBI single and Carlos Correa followed with an RBI grounder, Tucker fought through a nine-pitch at-bat — fouling off six pitches in a row — before smacking a fastball from Kolby Allard (2-8) into the bullpen in right center to make it 5-0. It was Tucker’s 18th of the season.
Brandon Bielak (3-3) gave up just one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings for the victory.
Phillies 5, Braves 1
PHILADELPHIA — Zack Wheeler returned to his All-Star form for seven innings, Bryce Harper stole three bases, including home, and Philadelphia beat Atlanta.
J.T. Realmuto hit his 10th homer and Jean Segura had a tiebreaking, two-run double in helping Philadelphia snap a three game losing streak.
Wheeler (8-5) worked his way out of his biggest trouble in the fifth inning, coaxing Austin Riley to ground out to short to get out of a bases loaded jam.
Max Fried (7-6) took the loss.
Orioles 6, Nationals 1
BALTIMORE — Pat Valaika homered twice — doubling his total for the season — and Baltimore beat Washington for just its second victory in its last 11 home games.
Josh Bell went deep for Washington in the fourth inning, but that 1-0 lead for the Nationals didn’t last long. Baltimore scored twice in the fourth before Valaika’s solo shot in the fifth. Valaika hit another solo homer in the seventh to make it 6-1.
Paul Fry (4-3) was the winner. Washington’s Patrick Corbin (6-9) allowed four earned runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Padres 5, Marlins 2
MIAMI — Joe Musgrove pitched six solid innings, Tommy Pham led off with a homer run and San Diego beat Miami.
Winless in his previous three starts, Musgrove (6-7) allowed two runs and six hits, struck out four and walked one. Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth for his major league-best 30th save.
Adam Duvall homered for Miami. Zach Thompson (2-3) was the loser.
Reds 6, Cardinals 5
CINCINNATI — Tyler Stephenson drove in Kyle Farmer with a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, rallying Cincinnati past St. Louis.
Farmer also homered for the Reds,
The Reds shook off long home runs by Paul Goldschmidt and Harrison Bader to maintain their hold on second place in the NL Central.
Right-hander Brad Brach (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth. Right-hander Heath Hembree earned his first save, striking out the side in the ninth, including pinch-hitting Adam Wainwright for the final out. Giovanny Gallegos (5-3) took the loss.
Brewers 7, White Sox 1
MILWAUKEE — Tyrone Taylor hit a grand slam to cap Milwaukee’s six-run seventh inning against Chicago.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa and outfielder Tim Anderson were ejected by plate umpire John Libka. La Russa’s ejection came during a mound conference with two outs in the seventh after Milwaukee’s Rowdy Tellez drew a bases-loaded walk on a 3-2 pitch that was ruled just outside. Anderson was in the dugout in the top of the eighth inning when he got tossed.
Ryan Burr remained in the game after issuing the bases-loaded walk to Tellez, but he threw a 2-2 pitch that Taylor sent just inside the left-field foul pole.
Adrian Houser (6-5) was the winner, and Lucas Giolito (8-7) took the loss. Andrew Vaughn homered in the eighth for the White Sox.
Royals 5, Tigers 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ryan O’Hearn hit a three-run homer, Carlos Santana also connected and Kansas City ended Detroit’s winning streak at seven.
Kansas City has won three in a row for the first time since June 4.
Kris Bubic (3-4) gave up one earned run and six hits in six innings. Greg Holland got his seventh save.
Wily Peralta was the loser. Willi Castro homered for Detroit.
Twins 5, Angels 4
MINNEAPOLIS — Nick Gordon scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a throwing error by catcher Kurt Suzuki in Minnesota’s victory over Los Angeles.
Ryan Jeffers hit a tying RBI single off closer Raisel Iglesias (6-4), who was charged with his fourth blown save in 24 attempts after being summoned with a runner on first for what would’ve been a six-out save.
Juan Minaya (1-0) worked a scoreless eighth and Taylor Rogers earned his ninth save with a scoreless ninth.
Jack Mayfield homered for the Angels.