It has been a series of contrasts.
After the New York Mets defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 18-1 in the opener, the Blue Jays came back to win 3-2 Saturday night to set up a rubber match of the three-game series Sunday afternoon at Buffalo.
Rookie left-hander David Peterson (4-1, 4.26 ERA) will start for the Mets against Blue Jays left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (3-1, 3.19).
The victory Saturday allowed the Blue Jays (25-20) to maintain second place in the American League East by a half-game over the third-place New York Yankees.
The Mets (21-25) are two games out of a National League wild-card spot. Mets outfielder Jake Marisnick left the game Saturday with tightness in his right hamstring.
Shortstop Bo Bichette (sprained right knee) returned to Toronto’s lineup from the injured list Saturday and went 1-for-4 in his first game since Aug. 15.
Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk made his major league debut Saturday and was 1-for-3 with a walk. He was behind the plate as left-hander Robbie Ray allowed one run in five innings to earn his first win in three outings since Toronto acquired him from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trade.
Bichette missed 27 games, and his return should help a team that recently lost Teoscar Hernandez (oblique strain) and Rowdy Tellez (knee strain).
Bichette is batting .354/.382/.646. Even without him, the Blue Jays put themselves into a solid position for a postseason spot.
“They’ve been playing amazing,” Bichette said. “They’ve been fighting every night and winning a lot of close games. As much as I wanted to be a part of it, it was just as much fun to watch it and see how they competed over the past four weeks.”
The Mets got three hits Saturday from Amed Rosario, who has been sharing time at shortstop with rookie Andres Gimenez.
Rosario said that manager Luis Rojas told him recently that Gimenez will receive the bulk of the playing time when the Mets face right-handers.
“I haven’t had very in-depth conversations with anyone, aside from Rojas,” Rosario said through a team interpreter before the game Saturday. “I was told that Gimenez would get a big majority of the right-handed pitchers, but other than that, there hasn’t been any of these rules about who’s to start and who’s not.”
“Every day, we want the best lineup,” Rojas said. “Regardless if it’s right or left, I always have the conversation with them, just to keep them ready. It may be that we’re facing a lefty tomorrow and Gimenez is there. It may be that we have a righty and that Rosario is there. I give them the possibilities and I try to keep them ready.”
Ryu will be starting against the Mets for the ninth time in his career Sunday. He was 1-0 without allowing a run in two starts last season over 14 2/3 innings. He is 4-1 with a 1.20 ERA in his career against the Mets.
Peterson had shoulder inflammation in mid-August and spent the minimum 10 days on the injured list. He returned with a win as a reliever over the Baltimore Orioles Sept. 2, pitching four scoreless innings.
His worst outing of the season came against the Philadelphia Phillies in New York on Monday. He allowed five runs in two innings, blaming poor fastball command.
He has never faced the Blue Jays.
–Field Level Media