Matt Harvey returned to form with seven shutout innings and an RBI double, Bobby Parnell earned a five-out save and the Mets beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Tuesday night.
"Definitely fun when you match up obviously what we've been through," Harvey said.
One night after ending Toronto's 11-game winning streak, the NL East leaders held on without their top late relievers thanks in part to a major baserunning blunder by the Blue Jays. New York won for the fifth time in six games and improved to 11-0 at home against Toronto.
Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada each knocked in a run and scored another to help the Mets build a 3-0 cushion. Harvey (7-4), who was 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA in his previous four starts, allowed four hits against the best offence in baseball and gave a fired-up fist pump after tossing a perfect seventh.
"I saw outstanding stuff," Terry Collins said after his 340th victory as Mets manager broke a tie with Gil Hodges for third on the franchise list behind Davey Johnson (595) and Bobby Valentine (536). "Matt was bound and determined to have a good game."
The ace right-hander struck out six, walked none and was lifted after 107 pitches.
"Kind of had my slider back, which was nice. That helped with commanding my pitches. For me, it was just being able to locate," Harvey said.
With the Mets resting heavily used closer Jeurys Familia and hard-throwing rookie Hansel Robles, Carlos Torres entered to start the eighth. He issued a leadoff walk and gave up a single to Kevin Pillar before former Mets star Jose Reyes singled to right field for his first hit in nine at-bats during his return to Citi Field this week.
Ryan Goins was held at third base — but Pillar didn't realize it. He went tearing around second and, with third already occupied, was a sitting duck to be tagged out after Curtis Granderson's throw was cut off.
"I made a mistake by not picking up the third base coach," Pillar said. "It's as embarrassing as it gets."
Torres walked Josh Donaldson to load the bases before Parnell gave up a sacrifice fly to Jose Bautista and a run-scoring single to Edwin Encarnacion. But the right-hander, who saved 22 games in 2013 before missing the final two months of the season with a herniated disk in his neck, struck out Chris Colabello on a ball in the dirt.
"Sometimes to swim you've got to jump in the deep end, right?" Parnell said.
In his third outing of the year, Parnell then worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save since July 30, 2013. He blew a save opportunity on opening day last season, then missed the rest of the year recovering from his reconstructive elbow operation.
"Felt good. Definitely had some adrenaline going," he said. "That ninth inning is always good."
After getting the final out, the bearded Parnell breathed a sigh of relief and flashed a smile on the mound.
"That was a big milestone," he said. "Finally had some weight off my shoulders."
Flores hit a leadoff double in the second against Scott Copeland (1-1) and scored on Tejada's single. With two outs, Harvey lashed a ringing double to left-centre to make it 2-0.
It was his fifth career double and sixth RBI — the first of each since 2013. Mets pitchers have 22 hits this season, most of any staff in the majors.
"I'm more concentrating on pitching right now," Harvey said.
Flores added a sacrifice fly in the third.
Blue Jays: Copeland again pitched in place of RHP Aaron Sanchez, put on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a mild lat muscle strain. Sanchez is likely to miss his next turn on Sunday as well, manager John Gibbons said. ... Rookie 2B Devon Travis (left shoulder) is 0 for 7 with a sacrifice fly in the first two games of his rehab assignment with Double-A New Hampshire. Toronto hopes to get Travis back within a week or so.
Mets: LF Michael Cuddyer was rested in favour of rookie Darrell Ceciliani, who had two hits. Ceciliani will stay in the lineup the next two nights in Toronto, Collins said, because he plans to use Cuddyer and maybe Granderson at DH to give their thirty-something legs a break on the turf at Rogers Centre.
Sean Barber filled in for Marty Foster on the umpiring crew and was stationed at first base. Foster was behind the plate Monday night but left the game after getting hit square in the facemask by a foul ball. He was being evaluated for concussion-like symptoms and had not been cleared to return. Major League Baseball said the substitution might last more than one game.
Blue Jays: RHP Drew Hutchison (5-1, 5.75 ERA) pitches Wednesday night at home against the Mets.
Mets: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-6, 4.24) is 0-4 with a 6.82 ERA in his past six starts, though he's pitched pretty well the last two times out. Niese has permitted 11 unearned runs, second-most in the majors behind Padres RHP Andrew Cashner (13). In his only previous start against the Blue Jays, Niese gave up eight runs, eight hits and a career-high four homers over three innings in a 14-5 loss at Toronto in May 2012.