Topic: Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer

After snapping the longest losing streak of his career in his previous start http://www.jacksonvillejaguarsteamonlin … -ii-jersey , Marcus Stroman went straight back to struggling.
Brandon Nimmo reached base three times and the New York Mets beat Marcus Stroman and the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Wednesday night.

Stroman (1-6) lost six straight decisions before beating Detroit last Friday but couldn’t build on that performance. He allowed six runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, raising his ERA from 6.02 to 6.50.

”I just didn’t have a feel for anything from pitch one,” Stroman said.

Frazier gave the Mets the lead with a drive to center field off the right-hander in a five-run fifth.

Now in his fifth season, Stroman was expected to be a steadying presence in Toronto’s rotation. Instead, he has dealt with a sore shoulder that sidelined him for more than a month, and been hit hard when healthy enough to pitch.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway, a former pitcher and pitching coach, said location is at the root of Stroman’s rough stretch.

”Everything is just up a little bit from what I’ve seen in the past,” Callaway said. ”I think, from a pitching coach’s perspective, for him to have his good sinker and his good slider, he’s got to make sure he gets the ball down. That’s kind of how he lived in the past and what his success was all about, getting guys to chase below the zone.”

Former teammate Jose Bautista flied out in his first two at-bats against Stroman but delivered an RBI single in the fifth.

”His stuff was moving, he just wasn’t locating as well as I’ve seen him do in the past from the outfield,” Bautista said.

Stroman, from Long Island, had never faced the Mets before.

Seth Lugo (3-3) pitched three innings of relief for the win. Jeurys Familia closed for his 16th save in 20 opportunities.

Wilmer Flores had two hits and Kevin Plawecki scored twice for the Mets http://www.losangelesramsteamonline.com … son-jersey , who had lost 11 of 13.

Toronto’s Kendrys Morales hit a solo home run in the second but the Mets answered on Nimmo’s RBI single in the third. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. restored Toronto’s lead with a two-out RBI single in the fourth before Stroman unraveled in the fifth.

Flores led off with a single and scored on Frazier’s 10th home run. Bautista and Asdrubal Cabrera chased Stroman with consecutive RBI singles, and Michael Conforto capped the outburst with a run-scoring single off reliever Luis Santos.

Making his second major league career start, New York right-hander Corey Oswalt allowed two runs and five hits in four innings.

”That’s a good leap forward for him,” Callaway said. ”He looked a lot better.”

LOOK OUT BELOW

Mets relievers Tyler Bashlor, Jerry Blevins and Robert Gsellman, and outfielder Kevin Kaczmarksi, ascended Toronto’s CN Tower earlier in the day for the Edge Walk attraction, which lets visitors circle the exterior of the observation deck. The tower’s official Twitter account posted a photo of the quartet.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (right index finger) will make a rehab start for Class A Brooklyn on Sunday. … C Devin Mesoraco passed concussion tests again but was not in the starting lineup. Mesoraco was hit in the head in back-to-back innings Tuesday, once by a ball and once by a bat. … RHP Zack Wheeler will get an extra day of rest before his next start. Wheeler will be pushed back to Monday, when the Mets play a doubleheader against Philadelphia.

Blue Jays: An MRI on RHP Marco Estrada revealed a mild strain in his left gluteal muscle. Estrada left Tuesday’s start after just 12 pitches. It was not yet known whether he’ll be placed on the disabled list. … RHP Preston Guilmet was designated for assignment and LHP Tim Mayza was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Toronto selected Santos and RHP Rhiner Cruz from Triple-A. … RHP Seunghwan Oh was available after missing Tuesday’s game because of flu-like symptoms.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (5-4) pitches Friday night at home against Tampa Bay. The right-hander leads the majors with a 1.84 ERA but has lost four of his past five starts despite not allowing more than three earned runs in any of them. Tampa Bay is expected to open with right-handed reliever Ryne Stanek (1-2, 1.98).

Blue Jays: RHP Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.97) goes Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Yankees. Gaviglio is 0-2 with a 4.78 ERA in six outings since winning his first start for Toronto. RHP Sonny Gray (5-6, 5.44) starts for New York.


It was unheard of not that long ago, but now it has become somewhat commonplace: pitchers by committee.

A manager begins a game not with a starting pitcher but a reliever — and with more relievers to follow.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon, certainly not a stranger to taking a risk, tried it Saturday with poor results against a suddenly hot team that’s not playing like a last-place club.

Don’t look for him to make the same mistake Sunday.

Maddon will run out one of his regular starters, right-hander Tyler Chatwood (3-5), at Great American Ball Park to try to avoid a four-game sweep by the Cincinnati Reds http://www.minnesotavikingsteamonline.c … jr.-jersey , who are playing nothing like the tail-ending team they’ve been all season.

The Reds mounted their second six-game win streak of the year — the first time they’ve done that since 2012 — by making quick work of the Cubs’ starter-by-committee plans Saturday during an 11-2 victory keyed by the pitching of right-hander Anthony DeSclafani.

And, remarkably, keyed by the hitting of DeSclafani, who hit the Reds’ seventh grand slam in 33 days and their third of the week, but the first by a Cincinnati pitcher since Bob Purkey against the Cubs on Aug. 1, 1959.

DeSclafani (3-1) posted his third win in a row while giving up two runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Cubs reliever-turned-starter Luke Farrell (2-3) was long gone by then, having been lifted with only a 2-1 deficit and two outs in the third inning. The Reds went on to score eight more runs against the Cubs’ bullpen — and catcher Chris Gimenez, who pitched the eighth inning.

DeSclafani’s shot came with two outs in the third inning against left-hander Brian Duensing, and it was a no-doubt drive well up into the left-field stands.

“All in all, I was trying to hit the ball hard somewhere and not strike out,” said DeSclafani, who came into the game with a .138 career batting average. “I knew a fastball was coming and I tried to square it up, and it happened to go out. … It was awesome. It all happened so quick.”

And slowly the Reds, once 8-27, are starting to play the way they expected when the season started. They’ve won nine of 11 and are 5-0 on their current six-game homestand.

“When you get down in the standings, it can be deflating,” said Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman, who replaced Bryan Price during the terrible start. “But they kept coming to the ballpark and working hard http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/ … nce-jersey , and now we’re getting closer to respectability in the standings, though we’re not there yet.”

The Cubs’ domination of the Reds is disappearing, too – going into the series, they’d won 43 of 62 against them in the last four seasons — as quickly as DeSclafani’s homer reached the seats.

“We’re playing clean baseball — we’ve run the bases, made plays … are getting timely hits,” Riggleman said. “We have a nice string of well-played games.”

This probably isn’t encouraging to the Cubs’ faithful, either. Chatwood is 0-4 with a 4.18 ERA in five career appearances against the Reds. He has walked 63 batters in 68 1/3 innings this season.

Despite Chatwood’s lack of success against the Reds, only Joey Votto (2-for-10, .200) has double-digit at-bats against him.

Chatwood opposes right-hander Sal Romano (4-7), who is coming off his best start of the season — seven shutout innings against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. Romano gave up four hits and struck out six despite walking four in a 9-5 Reds victory in which the Tigers scored all of their runs in the ninth inning.

Romano’s last start against the Cubs wasn’t a good one. He surrendered seven runs and six hits in five innings of a 10-0 Chicago victory on May 19. He is 0-1 against them in two career games.

Maddon gave Kris Bryant the day off Saturday after he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the Reds’ 6-3 win Friday as he tries to get some of the slumping hitters going. Bryant is likely to be in the lineup Sunday against Romano.

“We’ve got to get (Willson) Contreras going, we’ve got to get KB (Bryant) and (Anthony Rizzo) going,” Maddon said. “I mean, these were our primary offensive weapons last year, and they really haven’t hit their stride yet.”