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Tylor Megill steals show as Mets shut out Blue Jays

On a night when the Mets added a needed starter and faced an old friend for the first time, rookie Tylor Megill was the pitcher who stole the show once again.

Hours after the Mets traded for veteran lefty Rich Hill to fortify their rotation, Megill continued his unexpected rookie ascension Friday night by outdueling former Met Steven Matz in a 3-0 win at Citi Field to open an 11-game home stand.

Pete Alonso clubbed two home runs — and was shown carrying around a stuffed horse in the dugout after his second blast in the eighth inning — to account for all three runs in support of Megill, the Mets’ eighth-round draft pick in 2018 out of Arizona, and three relievers.

Megill tossed six scoreless innings for the second straight start, lowering his ERA over six big league outings to 2.10.

Edwin Diaz recorded his first save over his last four opportunities with a scoreless ninth, completing the first-place Mets’ first set of consecutive shutouts this season. Marcus Stroman and Jeurys Familia combined for a 7-0 one-hitter Wednesday in Cincinnati.

Mets
Corey Sipkin

The 25-year-old Megill (1-0) earned his first major league win and recorded his first career hit — a single to right against Matz in the fifth inning.

Last weekend in Pittsburgh, Seth Lugo and Diaz had coughed up nine runs in the final two innings of a 9-7 Mets loss to flush the six-run lead with which Megill left that game.

The 6-foot-7 righty, who opened the season at Double-A Binghamton, allowed two singles with five strikeouts and one walk on just 78 pitches Friday before Lugo replaced him with a 2-0 lead to start the seventh inning.

Alonso provided the quick 2-0 lead with a two-run blast (his 20th of the season) into the left-field seats off Matz in the first inning. He rocked his second homer of the night, a 450-foot clout into the second deck in left-center against lefty reliever Ryan Borucki in the eighth for a 3-0 lead.

Alonso’s initial Mets on Matz crime came a few minutes after the Long Island-bred lefty had tipped his cap to a partial standing ovation from the Citi Field crowd. That followed a video tribute the Mets showed on the scoreboard after Megill had retired the side in the top of the first inning.

Matz, who is 8-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 17 starts this season, was traded to Toronto in the offseason after six seasons with the Mets. The Alonso homer marked the only two runs Matz allowed before departing to more cheers after recording two outs and issuing a walk to Michael Conforto in the home sixth.

Pete Alonso
Corey Sipkin

Conforto had helped Megill post his final zero with a charging, belly-flop catch on Bo Bichette’s soft liner to right for the second out of the sixth.

“This kid is getting better each day, he’s learning … and I’m excited to watch him,” manager Luis Rojas said after Megill’s previous start. “This guy, as young as he is and as little experience he has at the big league level, he does a lot of good things.

“We’ve got ourselves a pitcher here when we’re in need. … I think this is a guy that can make a difference.”

Lugo, who was tagged for five earned runs in the eighth inning of Megill’s previous outing, worked a scoreless seventh Friday night. The righty setup man was aided by a heads-up play by second baseman Luis Guillorme, who backed up a ball booted by Alonso and nabbed Cavan Biggio at first for the third out.

After Trevor May got through the eighth unscathed, Diaz worked a perfect ninth for his 20th save of the season, but first in four chances since July 10 against the Pirates.

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