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Megill earns 1st win, Alonso homers twice as Mets blank Jays

July 24, 2021 GMT
New York Mets pitcher Tylor Megill throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, July 23, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
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New York Mets pitcher Tylor Megill throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, July 23, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
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New York Mets pitcher Tylor Megill throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, July 23, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.”

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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.”

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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.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: C Danny Jansen (right hamstring) was placed on the 10-day injured list. Jansen, who missed 23 games earlier this season with the same injury, was hurt Wednesday. Montoyo said Jansen “pulled it pretty good” and there was no timetable for his return. ... OF Corey Dickerson (left foot) is moving closer to a rehab assignment. Dickerson has yet to play for the Blue Jays, who acquired him from Miami on June 29.

Mets: DeGrom (right forearm) threw for a third straight day. ... IF Jose Peraza (broken right middle finger) wore a protective splint to field grounders during batting practice, but still can’t throw. ... RHP Carlos Carrasco (right hamstring) threw a side Thursday and is a candidate to make his Mets debut either Sunday or Monday. He may also make a third rehab start on one of those days. ... 2B Jeff McNeil (left leg) didn’t play. Rojas said it was unlikely McNeil would start Saturday. … RHP Robert Stock (right hamstring) was shifted to the 60-day injured list to make room for Hill.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (9-5, 3.32 ERA) is 5-1 with a 1.23 ERA against the Mets — his lowest ERA against any opponent he’s faced at least five times.

Mets: RHP Taijuan Walker (7-3, 2.99 ERA) faces his former team, for whom he went 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA in six starts last season.