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Sunday, May 20, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Mets 6, Blue Jays 5

By Adam Rubin

WHAT IT MEANS: The weekend wasn’t a total loss, at least. In their first visit to Toronto in six years, the Mets salvaged the series finale, beating the Blue Jays, 6-5, Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Barely.

Bobby Parnell surrendered a pair of eighth-inning runs, including an RBI single to Colby Rasmus that snapped the ex-Cardinal’s 0-for-20 skid, as Toronto rallied to within a run. But Tim Byrdak made his 24th appearance in 41 games to retire lefty-hitting Kelly Johnson on a flyout to right field and end that frame.

In the ninth, ex-Blue Jays closer Frank Francisco, who was loudly jeered upon entering, closed things out despite a leadoff walk to Yunel Escobar and ensuing single by Jose Bautista that placed the winning run on base with none out. Francisco struck out the next three batters.

WELCOME BACK: After scheduled day off, and with his illness having somewhat improved, David Wright delivered a two-run double in the first inning against Jays right-hander Henderson Alvarez. It was hit No. 1,301 of Wright’s career, which passed ex-teammate Jose Reyes for sole possession of second on franchise’s all-time list. Ed Kranepool has the highest hit total as a Met for now: 1,418. Wright now stands at 1,302. He finished Sunday’s game 2-for-4 with a walk, albeit with an eighth-inning strikeout that stranded the bases loaded and kept the score 6-3. His average now stands at .412.

(Wright wasn’t solely at fault for a scoreless eighth. Ike Davis doubled and advanced to third on a passed ball, but was thrown out at the plate on a pitch that similarly eluded catcher J.P. Arencibia.)

BAXTER BURNING: Mike Baxter, starting for a second straight game with the pitcher not batting in the American League ballpark, went 3-for-4 with a walk. He fell a homer shy of producing the second cycle by a Met this season (Scott Hairston at Colorado on April 27, in an 18-9 loss). Baxter’s hit total achieved a career high, and lifted his average to .390, in 41 at-bats. Baxter even was the subject of taunts from fans in the left-field stands.

After being deprived of a would-be ninth-inning double Saturday with an incorrect out call at second base, Baxter doubled and tripled in the first two inings Sunday while starting in left field. The latter extra-base hit scored Ronny Cedeno and staked the Mets to a 4-0 lead.

GEE MINOR: Clean-shaven Dillon Gee completed 6 2/3 innings and notched his first win since April 28 at Colorado. He departed after an RBI single by Jose Bautista pulled the Jays within 6-3. Parnell entered and stranded Bautista by coaxing a fielder’s choice groundout by Edwin Encarnacion.

Gee’s final line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP. He threw 113 pitches (67 strikes). He surrendered a third-inning solo homer to Bautista that pulled the Jays within 4-2 at the time.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets, in businesslike attire, head through customs and travel to Pittsburgh. Johan Santana (1-2, 2.89 ERA) opposes left-hander Erik Bedard (2-5, 3.07) in Monday’s 7:05 p.m. opener.