NEW YORK — The Mets trailed early, blew a ninth-inning lead and fell behind again in extras — all against baseball’s hottest team.
Still, in the end, they remained perfect in New York against the Blue Jays.
Wilmer Flores singled to cap a two-out, two-run rally in the 11th inning and the Mets ended Toronto’s team record-tying 11-game winning streak, beating the Blue Jays 4-3 on June 15.
The Mets improved to 10-0 at home against the Blue Jays with the comeback victory. “It’s resiliency,” Michael Cuddyer said. “We know we’re always going to be in the game.”
The Blue Jays trailed 2-1 in the ninth before Jose Bautista tied it with his second home run of the game, connecting against Jeurys Familia.
Toronto took the lead in the 11th on Dioner Navarro’s sacrifice fly off Hansel Robles (1-1). The Mets then rallied for their fourth win in five games. They trailed 8-3 June 14th before beating Atlanta.
With Ruben Tejada on first and one out, Cuddyer hit a potential game-ending double-play grounder to second baseman Danny Valencia. Tejada smartly slowed up and Valencia tagged him, but too late to throw onto first.
“That piece of baserunning, that’s how you’re supposed to run the bases,” Manager Terry Collins said.
Lucas Duda followed by slicing a shift-busting single to shallow left field and the 36-year-old Cuddyer hustled all the way home.
Duda took second on the throw, Liam Hendricks relieved and Flores lined the first pitch up the middle, setting off a raucous celebration near second base.
“We’re not giving up,” Flores said. “That’s what good teams do.”
The Mets were the only other team in the majors with an 11-game winning streak this season. New York’s perfect 10-0 record against Toronto is tied with Cleveland for third longest in inter-league play.
San Francisco has two 11-game runs, against Oakland and Texas, according to information provided by the Mets from the Elias Sports Bureau.
Familia was trying for a four-out save for the second straight day. He wound up with his second blown save this season, spoiling a dominant start by Noah Syndergaard.
“It wasn’t a bad pitch. This guy is just one of the great home run hitters in baseball,” Collins said of Bautista’s homer off Familia.
Pitching on an extra day’s rest, the rookie right-hander nicknamed Thor struck out a career-high 11 and allowed two hits in six overpowering innings.
Syndergaard, traded by the Blue Jays to the Mets, left with a 2-1 lead against the team that racked up 88 runs in reeling off 11 consecutive wins.
“The kid tonight was great,” Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons said. “They shut down a hot offense and that hasn’t been easy to do lately.”
Bautista hit a mammoth homer into the second deck in left field with two outs in the first, but Toronto’s relentless offense was stifled by Syndergaard and relievers Carlos Torres and Jack Leathersich through 7 2/3 innings.
Syndergaard was the starter a week ago when San Francisco’s Chris Heston pitched a no-hitter at Citi Field. This time against Mark Buehrle, the Mets went without a baserunner until Duda led off the fifth with a sharp grounder that hopped over the glove of first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who went down to one knee to try to catch the ball.
New York broke through against Buehrle in the sixth, taking advantage of former Mets star Jose Reyes’ throwing error from deep shortstop on Kevin Plawecki’s grounder to open the inning.
Juan Lagares and Tejada each had RBI doubles in the sixth.
Buehrle allowed four hits and two runs in seven innnigs. The Mets are the only team Buehrle hasn’t beaten in his 16-year career, all in the American League except for one season with Miami.
(HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Baseball Writer)