The disappointment of Noah Syndergaard’s unavailability to pitch Sunday didn’t run too deep for the Mets given the manner in which his replacement was pitching.
And then Seth Lugo took his trustworthiness to another level with a gem against the hated Yankees. The lineup is still not clicking, but at least the Mets avoided the embarrassment of a Subway Series sweep and winless homestand.
With Lugo in control over six shutout innings, the Mets snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory at Citi Field. The win was the Mets’ first in seven games against the Yankees dating to last season, giving manager Mickey Callaway’s beleaguered bunch a 1-8 homestand.
Drama built in the eighth, after Miguel Andujar was ruled safe at second base on a replay challenge that showed Jose Reyes missing the bag on Amed Rosario’s flip. Reyes also threw wide of first base on the play, allowing Aaron Judge to reach.
But Robert Gsellman exonerated Reyes — who entered the game in the fourth after Asdrubal Cabrera departed with left hamstring tightness — by retiring Gleyber Torres and Brett Gardner to preserve the Mets’ two-run lead.
Anthony Swarzak, who allowed a go-ahead homer to Judge a night earlier, pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first save with the Mets.
Leading into the Subway Series the Mets’ hope was Syndergaard would return from the disabled list Sunday. But the right-hander had swelling on his right index finger following a throwing session Friday and was scratched from the start.
Enter Lugo, who out-shined Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz, both of whom had solid performances in the first two games of the series, albeit not enough to get victories for the Mets. Entering play, Mets starting pitchers had a 2.47 ERA over their previous 20 games, the lowest in the major leagues over that stretch.
Todd Frazier handled the offensive chores with a two-run homer against Luis Severino in the fifth that accounted for the scoring. The Mets managed only six runs in the three games.
Lugo was brilliant in his six shutout innings, tying a career high with eight strikeouts. The right-hander retired the final 13 batters he faced and did not allow a runner to reach second base during his six innings. Greg Bird and Andujar each singled against Lugo in the first two innings, the total of the Yankees’ offense against him.
It was a second straight strong start by Lugo, who held the Cubs scoreless over four innings on May 31 before returning to the bullpen the following week. In a relief appearance against the Orioles, he fired three shutout innings.
Frazier’s blast in the fifth against Severino broke the scoreless tie. Reyes singled with two outs before Frazier cleared the left-field fence for his second homer in the series.
Frazier entered only 3-for-16 (.188) since returning from the disabled list, but singled in his second at-bat of the game and stole second. The stolen base was Frazier’s fourth of the season.
Severino pitched five innings for the Yankees and allowed two earned runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The Yankees ace entered 2-0 lifetime against the Mets and had not allowed an earned run in 10 ²/₃ innings over those two starts.
Severino had to work early in the game, walking two batters in a first inning in which he threw 31 pitches. But the right-hander struck out Devin Mesoraco, keeping the Mets off the scoreboard.
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