Happ reaches 3 times, allows 2 runners as Jays thump Mets
NEW YORK — Steady rain at Citi Field should have made pitching, hitting and fielding challenging for everybody.
Instead, Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ had a blast doing all three.
Happ reached three times and allowed only two baserunners over seven scoreless innings, and Toronto got its first road victory against the New York Mets, 12-1 on a wet Wednesday in Queens.
Happ (5-3) struck out 10 and walked none while pitching two-hit ball. The left-hander also singled twice and walked in his first multihit game since 2011, when he had two hits for Houston at Citi Field.
“It was just a fun game,” Happ said. “It was fun being on the bases a little bit and scoring a couple runs and pitching deep into the ballgame. Have to feel good about that one.”
The 35-year-old is the first AL pitcher to throw seven innings and match or out-hit his opponent since the Angels’ Clyde Wright against the Rangers on Sept. 14, 1972, per STATS. The AL adopted the designated hitter rule the next year.
Happ also helped himself with a sliding, barehanded play to field Luis Guillorme’s grounder in the fifth.
“He was outstanding on a tough day to play,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “Whether you’re a pitcher or anybody else. Yeah, he held it together.”
Toronto was 0-12 against the Mets in New York, the longest such skid against one team in interleague history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
New York’s Brandon Nimmo homered off Danny Barnes with two outs in the ninth and Wilmer Flores added a double before Barnes finished Toronto’s four-hitter.
Justin Smoak, Teoscar Hernandez and Richard Urena each homered and drove in three runs as Toronto piled up 15 hits. The Blue Jays had averaged 2.8 runs over its past 11 games, batting .211 with a .630 OPS while going 3-8.
“One thing we can do, we can hit,” Gibbons said. “It’s been a little dry lately, but we can strike pretty quick.”
A steady drizzle fell throughout, but the rain picked up in the middle of the third inning. Moments after New York pitcher Zack Wheeler’s bat slipped from his hands and nearly hit first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr., umpires asked the grounds crew to rake the field. SNY reported the Mets used between 80 and 100 bags of Diamond Dry during that 15-minute delay alone, and the crew returned to the field with rakes and shovels regularly throughout the game.
Wheeler (5-3) fell apart on the mound after the break. Hernandez put Toronto up 3-0 with a two-run shot in the fourth, and then Smoak ripped a two-run double during a three-run fifth inning.
Wheeler was charged with six runs in four-plus innings, bringing his ERA to 5.92.
“To me, it seemed like the rain, the little (delay) trying to fix the field, kind of affected our guy and didn’t their’s,” New York manager Mickey Callaway said.
Toronto continued to pound away against New York’s bullpen, including three runs off AJ Ramos in the sixth inning. The Blue Jays sent 24 batters to the plate over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, getting eight runs, nine hits and four walks in that span. By comparison, New York batted 26 players in the first eight innings.
The Mets have not won consecutive games since winning nine straight from April 3-13.
CESPEDES TO DL
New York placed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hip flexor, retroactive to Monday. Cespedes spent about a week trying to play through his latest lower-body injury before getting an MRI on Tuesday, which revealed the strain.
Phillip Evans was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and started in left field. Evans said he arrived in New York at 6:30 a.m., 6 1/2 hours before first pitch. He struck out three times.
Mets reliever Buddy Baumann batted in the eighth inning for the 17th plate appearance for New York’s bullpen this season. It had 18 total last year.
Toronto prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had four hits for Double-A New Hampshire on Wednesday. The 19-year-old is batting .415 with seven homers in 35 games with the Fisher Cats.
Toronto recalled right-hander Danny Barnes from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned right-hander Deck McGuire to its top farm club.
Mets: CF Juan Lagares injured the big toe on his left foot running into the wall on a flyball in the ninth. X-rays were negative, but Lagares is unsure if he’ll be able to play Friday.
Blue Jays: Host Oakland on Thursday, with RHP Aaron Sanchez (2-3, 4.08 ERA) opposing A’s RHP Andrew Triggs (3-1, 5.31).
Mets: New York gets Thursday off before beginning a stretch of 18 games in 17 days. RHP Jacob deGrom (3-0, 1.83 ERA) starts Friday at home against Arizona RHP Zack Godley (4-2, 4.08 ERA).
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