Friday, May 18th (All times eastern)
New York Mets (21-17) at Toronto Blue Jays (21-18), 7:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York Mets - Jon Niese (2-1, 3.40) Toronto - Ricky Romero (4-1, 3.88)
(Sports Network) - The Blue Jays have struggled during interleague play, a fact that has been obvious when they have faced the Mets.
Toronto will try to get its schedule against the National League off to a good start tonight when it battles New York for the first time since 2006.
The Blue Jays begin this three-game series with the Mets having posted a losing record in interleague play in each of the past four seasons. They went 8-10 versus the NL a season ago and are just 4-14 all-time versus the Mets.
Toronto hasn't played New York since splitting a two-game series in Toronto six years ago.
The Blue Jays do come in riding high off a pair of victories over another New York team, sweeping a quick two-game series with the Yankees by taking yesterday's encounter 4-1.
Jose Bautista and J.P. Arencibia both hit two-run homers, while Drew Hutchison gave up one run on five hits in six full frames for the Blue Jays, who had lost three in a row before facing the Yankees.
"I thought Hutch once again kept his composure," said Blue Jays manager John Farrell. "A solid and well played game all around."
Toronto will be without third baseman Brett Lawrie for this series after he dropped his appeal of a four-game suspension on Thursday stemming from his aggressive actions towards umpire Bill Miller on Tuesday. That included him throwing his helmet in Miller's direction during his tirade.
Yan Gomes became the first Brazilian player to ever appear in a major league game when he got the start at third. He went 2-for-3 after taking the roster spot of the struggling Adam Lind, who was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Ricky Romero will try to pitch Toronto to a victory tonight and rebound from his first loss of 2012.
The left-hander won his first four decisions over seven starts before taking a loss to the Twins on Sunday. He gave up season highs of four runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings while walking five for a second straight outing. Romero has issued 26 walks over 53 1/3 innings this season.
Romero, 27, is 4-1 with a 3.88 earned run average this season and faces the Mets for the first time.
New York, which went 9-9 versus the American League last year, snapped a two- game slide on Thursday with a 9-4 win over Cincinnati. The Mets scored nine unanswered runs in the game, with David Wright sparking a five-run eighth with a go-ahead RBI double.
Lucas Duda and Justin Turner each knocked in two runs, Wright scored three times and Ronny Cedeno added a three-run blast in the eighth inning.
"These guys are a resilient bunch," remarked Mets manager Terry Collins. "They don't get down when they lose tough games. They just know they have to come out and play. They're a joy to be around."
Bobby Parnell got the victory after tossing a scoreless top of the eighth, while starter R.A. Dickey was charged for four runs -- three earned -- on five hits with eight strikeouts over six frames.
Southpaw Jon Niese faces the Blue Jays for the first time in his career having gone 0-1 in five starts since opening 2012 with consecutive wins.
Niese has allowed more than three runs just once this season, a loss to the Astros on May 1. He battled through flu-like symptoms on Sunday in Miami to pitch six scoreless innings, scattering five hits and three walks but not factoring into an eventual 8-4 loss.
The 25-year-old is 2-1 with a 3.40 ERA this season.
05/18 10:49:39 ET