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Ex-Astros aces square off as Yanks, Mets meet again

The New York Mets weren’t very happy with the umpires Tuesday night

Yet the Mets were even more displeased with themselves

The skidding club will look to salvage a split of a two-game interleague series Wednesday night when it hosts the New York Yankees

Justin Verlander (2-3, 4.85 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against Gerrit Cole (7-1, 2.84) in a battle of right-handers who finished No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the 2019 American League Cy Young Award balloting as teammates with the Houston Astros

The Yankees earned an eventful win in the series opener on Tuesday. Pinch hitter Josh Donaldson lofted a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, and the Yankees, who erased a four-run deficit, emerged with a 7-6 victory

Donaldson’s key at-bat came one inning before Mets reliever Drew Smith was ejected due to having a sticky substance on his hand as umpires checked him as he neared the pitcher’s mound

“I wish he could have got a warning,” Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor said. “He hasn’t thrown a pitch yet. Clean his hand and then let him go at it. But that was their decision. I’m with my teammate. I will forever back him up.

Smith is subject to an automatic 10-game suspension. Mets co-ace Max Scherzer served a 10-game suspension for the same reason from April 20-May 2

“I think we’re all angry about this one,” Scherzer said.

Scherzer and his teammates were also unhappy with their performance before and after Smith’s ejection. Scherzer, who allowed one hit and one run in the first three innings, gave up five runs on six hits while getting just one out in the fourth as the Yankees took a 6-5 lead

After the Mets‘ Luis Guillorme tied the score with an RBI single in the fifth, Brandon Nimmo misplayed a sinking liner by Anthony Volpe into a double one batter before Donaldson’s go-ahead sacrifice fly

The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but the Yankees‘ Clay Holmes entered and struck out Lindor and Starling Marte to quell the threat

“Tonight you can put the camera right on me — I’ve got to be better,” Scherzer said. “We’ve all got to be better. But if we’re going to win, we’ve got to win as a team. So everybody’s got to do their part to win as a team.”

The Yankees used a complete effort at the plate and from the bullpen to build the Tuesday win. Every starter had at least one hit — including Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu, who each homered after entering the game a combined 7-for-44 (.159) this month

After Guillorme’s game-tying single chased Luis Severino, six Yankees relievers combined to blank the Mets on two hits over the final 4 1/3 innings

“This was one of those fun ones,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “To have a lot of really cool big moments in that game and to have everyone have a hand in it, those are fun.

Verlander will look to bounce back from a rough outing on Thursday, when he gave up five runs (four earned) over three innings as the Mets fell to the Atlanta Braves 13-10 in 10 innings. He is 9-7 with a 3.44 ERA in 23 regular-season starts against the Yankees

Cole took a loss on Friday after surrendering two runs over six innings as the Yankees fell 3-2 to the Boston Red Sox. He is 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts against the Mets

–Field Level Media

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