Mon, 26 Oct 2020

Rays edge Mets, close in on AL East title

Field Level Media
22 Sep 2020, 12:40 GMT+10

Nate Lowe hit the decisive solo homer Monday night, and six Tampa Bay Rays pitchers combined on a four-hitter as the Rays moved closer to clinching the American League East with a 2-1 win over the host New York Mets.

The win by the Rays (36-19) reduced Tampa Bay's magic number for clinching the division to two.

The Mets (24-30) edged closer to being eliminated from playoff contention after wasting another brilliant outing by two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, who took the loss despite tying a career high by striking out 14 over seven innings.

New York began the day 2 1/2 games out of the NL's final wild-card spot.

DeGrom (4-2), who allowed two runs on four hits and walked two, struck out the side on just 10 pitches in the first inning. In the second, Lowe drew a leadoff walk, went to third on Joey Wendle's double and scored on Manuel Margot's sacrifice fly.

Lowe homered leading off the fourth, after which deGrom retired 11 of the final 13 batters he faced. He struck out Kevin Kiermaier and Brett Phillips to end the seventh to become the first pitcher this season to record two 14-strikeout games and the first Mets pitcher with two 14-strikeout games in a season since Dwight Gooden in 1985.

The loss also marked the 32nd time deGrom has pitched at least seven innings, allowed two runs or fewer and not earned the win.

The Mets mounted their lone rally in the fifth. After Josh Fleming, the Rays third pitcher, recorded the first two outs, Guillermo Heredia walked, Wilson Ramos singled and Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch.

Jeff McNeil followed with an RBI single beyond second base, but shortstop Willy Adames ranged over, knocked the ball down and prevented it from squeaking it into the outfield, which forced Ramos to stop at third. J.D. Davis then lined out.

Fleming (4-0), who was credited with the win after throwing three innings teamed with Diego Castillo, Ryan Sherriff and Nick Anderson (sixth save) retired 12 of the final 13 New York batters.

Opener Pete Fairbanks issued a walk and struck out two over 1 2/3 hitless innings.

--Field Level Media

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