Max Scherzer pulled himself from a start Wednesday night with discomfort in his left side before the Mets finished off an 11-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Pete Alonso homered and drove in four runs for the Mets (25-14), who improved to 13-1 following a loss. The only time they dropped consecutive games this season was April 10-11.
Jeff McNeil had an early two-run single and Alonso snapped a 2-all tie with an R.B.I. single off rookie reliever Jake Walsh (0-1) in a four-run fifth inning. Dominic Smith knocked in a run with a single during the outburst, and Luis Guillorme drove in another with a nicely executed safety squeeze.
Mets batters were hit by pitches three times, increasing their major league-leading total to 28. That includes eight by Cardinals pitchers in six games — the teams got into a bench-clearing melee in St. Louis last month.
Both benches were warned Wednesday night after Mark Canha was hit near the ribs by a 98 mph fastball from Cardinals starter Jordan Hicks in the third, but there was no trouble between the teams.
Canha scored three times and followed Brandon Nimmo’s run-scoring triple with an R.B.I. single as the Mets broke open a 6-4 game with a five-run eighth capped by Alonso’s three-run homer off T.J. McFarland.
Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals. Albert Pujols got two hits to pass Eddie Collins for 10th place on the career list with 3,314, including an early two-run single off Scherzer (5-1).
The three-time Cy Young Award winner left with two outs in the sixth and a 1-1 count on Pujols. He will have an M.R.I. on Thursday, the Mets said.
The 2022 M.L.B. Season
“Relax, all right? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls, it’s more democratic.”
- The Third Baseman’s Gambit: Manny Machado is the hottest hitter in baseball, and he is coming for your Queen.
- The Loneliest Team in Baseball: The Oakland Athletics gutted their roster and flirted with Las Vegas. Now their fans appear to be in full revolt.
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- Simply the Best: Who is the best player in baseball? According to Carlos Correa, it’s Byron Buxton, the Twins’ talented (but fragile) superstar.
With two runners on, Scherzer threw a slider in the dirt and immediately signaled to the New York bench that he was done.
Pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, Manager Buck Showalter and a trainer came out of the dugout to visit Scherzer on the mound. After a quick discussion, the 37-year-old right-hander walked off the field.
Scherzer threw 61 of his 87 pitches for strikes and left with a 6-2 lead against his hometown team. Adam Ottavino was given all the time he needed to warm up, and he struck out Pujols to end the inning.
The 42-year-old Pujols, who stole second off Scherzer, also grounded out with the score 6-4 and a runner on against Seth Lugo to end the eighth.
Yankees Win With Baserunning and Defense
BALTIMORE — On a night when their bats were held in check, the Yankees found another way to win.
Gerrit Cole pitched seven efficient innings, the defense backed him up with several strong plays and New York beat the skidding Baltimore Orioles, 3-2, Wednesday night.
Cole (4-0) allowed two runs and six hits with five strikeouts. Behind him, right fielder Marwin Gonzalez made two clutch grabs and Josh Donaldson flagged down several sharp grounders. Then, in the eighth, first baseman Anthony Rizzo grabbed a scorching liner to start an unassisted double play.
The Yankees managed only six hits, but a three-run first inning that featured a sprint from second to home on a wild pitch proved enough to squeeze out a victory.
And that, to a large degree, explains why New York is off to an amazing 28-9 start.
“Tonight we won on baserunning and defense,” Cole noted, “and we’re the Bronx Bombers.”
No home runs required. The Yankees could muster only a pair of doubles, but they still secured their 21st win in 24 games.
“It’s been a great start, no question,” Manager Aaron Boone said. “Just really pleased with how they’re doing it — in a lot of different ways. Tonight we leaned on the pitching and great baserunning.”
New York broke on top in the first when Gleyber Torres followed two-out singles by Rizzo and Donaldson with an R.B.I. double. Then, on a wild pitch by Jordan Lyles, Donaldson scored and Torres came home on catcher Anthony Bemboom’s errant throw to the plate.
That was enough to propel the Yankees to their ninth win in the last 10 games. New York’s 28-9 start is tied for second-best in the majors since 1948, trailing only the 1984 Detroit Tigers at 32-5.
The Yankees will attempt to complete a four-game sweep of last-place Baltimore on Thursday afternoon. The Orioles, who have lost six straight, are the only team to take a series from the Yankees this season, winning two of three in mid-April.
After Cole’s impressive outing was done, Clay Holmes worked the final two innings for the third save of his career, all this season and all against the Orioles.