NEW YORK – Jacob de Grom struck out 13 – the most for a Mets pitcher who threw five innings or less but didn’t count for a decision on Sunday when the NL East leaders beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-3 to complete a four-game sweep.
Mets pitchers set a major league record with 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game, with New York remaining one game ahead of Atlanta. New York could claim their first playoff berth since 2016 with a win over Milwaukee on Monday night.
Oneil CruzA three-run homer in the sixth chased down deGrom and created a tie that remained unchanged until the Mets hit four in the eighth.
Terrence Gore pinch ran out instead of Thomas Nido, who singled out Robert Stephenson (2-2). FROM Brandon Nimmo at the plate, Gore stole second place after three rolls for first Manny Banueloswho glided on his first Nimmo serve and then took third when the catcher Jason Delaythe throw floated to the center.
“I talked to Nimm – if he stays there, shoot him. If it takes off, pull it back, which Nimm did,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “When he switched to a sliding step instead of a normal move, Terrence took it.”
Gore scored on Nimmo’s single. The 31-year-old standout running back has 43 major league steals and just 79 regular season games, but has won World Series rings with Kansas City (2015), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2020) and Atlanta (2021).
On Sunday, he received a giant sombrero handed out by the Mets players to the team’s MVP for the win.
“They actually changed its name,” Gore said with a smirk. “It was actually the striker’s hat. But now it’s a top hitter hat.
DeGrom allowed Cruz to double the lead and then sent off the next 15 batters, 13 by strikeout. Sid Fernandez (June 30, 1986) and Oliver Perez (September 12, 2006) each hit 11 batters in five innings for the Mets.
DeGrom threw out 26 innings in the first game with six substitutions. This is his most innings in an inning with 29 in Game 5 against Arizona on May 9 last year. He needed only 61 pitches from the second to the fifth.
“He’s one of those guys that if he’s on the move, no one in the world is going to hit him,” he said. Ke’Bryan Hayeswho hit in both of his at-bats against deGrom.
Zach Collins, who made his third appearance for the Pirates since being acquired from Toronto, led sixth with his first hit for Pittsburgh, allocated by Delay, with Cruz Homered just behind the fence in right center field.
“Didn’t make a few passes when I needed to,” deGrom said. “The guys did a good job arranging some runs for me. Then I couldn’t go out and keep them where they are.”
Two-time NL Award winner Cy Young set a major league record by allowing three earned runs or fewer for his 40th consecutive start, breaking a tie with Jim Scott (1913-14).
Seth LugoJoely Rodriguez and Trevor May combined to limit Pirates to one hit per three opportunities. Rodriguez (1-4) scored a career five in two perfect frames as May ended the game against Jack Suwinski with a record out.
The Mets became the ninth team to hit 20 in a nine-inning game, the first since Houston on July 3.
“Obviously it all starts with Jake,” Showalter said. “Outs are outs, but when you think about how difficult it is to do it and how rarely it happened, it gets your attention.”
Pirate starter Johan Oviedo gave up three runs in four innings.
The benches and paddocks cleared, but after Alonso was hit in the left elbow by an Oviedo serve in the first leg, no hits were landed.
It was the fifth time a Pirates pitcher had hit a Mets batter since Saturday. Oviedo and Alonso exchanged words and gestures, and JMcNeil helped direct Alonso to first base as the players flitted by. After a couple of minutes, the teams headed to their benches and paddocks while “Why can’t we be friends?” played at Citi Field.
Oviedo also hit Alonso’s right hand on May 5 last year while Oviedo was with St. Louis.
“We have a lot of hits on this series and I don’t really like guys who can throw a lot and hurt us, especially at the end of the year,” Alonso said.
The Mets were hit 102 times, three short of the record set by Cincinnati last year.
Pirates: RHP J. T. Brubaker (right hand inflammation), who pulled out of the start after three innings on Friday night, was placed on a 15-day IL. Pittsburgh withdrew RHP Luis Ortiz from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Mets: RHP Drew Smith (right latitude) can be activated as early as Tuesday. Smith has not performed since 24 July.
Pirates: Unlock a 2-game streak on the Yankees.
Metz: Max Scherzer (9-4, 2.26 ERA) will be activated to start the first series on Monday night in Milwaukee after recovering from a tight left oblique. It will start for the first time since September 3 and will make its fourth attempt at its 200th victory.
DETROIT – Andrew Wong won his first career Grand Slam, and on Sunday the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 11-5.
“This trip went in the right direction,” right-hander from Chicago. Vince Velasquez said. “We’re taking the right steps to hurt Cleveland at home.”
The White Sox are trying to capture AL Central’s leading Guardians, but they are running out of time. They are 3 1/2 games behind Cleveland after the Guardian lost 3-0 to Minnesota.
Chicago hosts Cleveland on Tuesday night, opening a three-game streak.
“It’s September now – everyone is tired, everyone’s legs and bodies hurt,” Vaughn said. “But we just have to give it our all every day, no matter what you have.”
The White Sox improved to 12-4 against the last-placed Tigers of the season. The teams will play again next weekend in Chicago.
The defending champions AL Central seized control with five runs in the fifth. Sheets snapped tie with a loaded base walk against Drew Hutchison (2-9) and Vaughn made it 7-2 as he moved the 1-2 slider from James Foley deep to left center for his commanding 17th homer.
“That (home run) was big,” White Sox acting manager Miguel Cairo said. “In a bullpen with short staff, it was nice to immediately put on a big number and give the bullpen a breather.”
The White Sox (76-71) have recorded 31 homers in their last 19 games. They’re 27-5 when they’ve hit at least two homers.
“He’s been doing it all year since he joined the bullpen,” Cairo said. “He was a guy who came in and shut down opportunities. This was our plan.”
“I was about to go on deck and it sounded like a gunshot,” Vaughn said. “That one was special. He can hit a few baseballs far.”
Jimenez added a double RBI in the eighth. He’s 17 of 43 with five homers and 16 RBIs over his last 11 games.
Willy Castro hit a two-run homer for Detroit in the first, and Javier Baez added a solo shot in the eighth. Baez returned to the designated hitter lineup after dealing with knee swelling following an awkward plate game on Friday.
Hutchison was charged with six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings in front of a crowd of 14,435. He has only one win in his last 13 matches.
“There’s a fine line between pitching aggressively and giving yourself a chance to get out of this (fifth) inning,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “And that inning just kept going up and up and it obviously exploded.”
Velasquez allowed two runs and three hits in four innings in his first start since June 9. Velasquez was forced to act because Johnny Cueto deals with illness.
“By giving up a home run, I take all the blame for it, but once I calmed down and started to sort it out, it was a good, easy, smooth ride,” Velasquez said. “You just have to always be on the lookout.”
Tanner Banks (2-0) gave up three opportunities to win.
“It was so great to see our bullpen,” Cairo said. “Everyone contributes. And everyone in the roster does little things to win matches.”
MOVING THE COMPOSITION
White Sox posted pitcher Joe Kelly on the family leave list. Banks was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.
White Sox: CF Louis Robert (hand) was disabled as a precaution. Cairo said that Robert could return on Tuesday. … Right side Michael Kopech (shoulder), who was placed in a 15-day IL on Saturday, said he was closed as a precaution and hoped to be back before the end of the season.
White Sox: There was no word on a starting pitcher for either team on Tuesday. Chicago pitching plan remains in motion after Cueto falls ill.