TORONTO - Dillon Gee understands that what happens in baseball cannot always be explained.
He merely proved it to himself again on Sunday when he pitched 6 2/3 innings as the New York Mets defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 before 41,867 at Rogers Centre to avoid a three-game sweep in the interleague series.
"This is a crazy game, I was all over the place today," said Gee who won for the first time since April 28. "This is why it's so weird to me. Last game I felt great and I gave up seven runs [in 5 1/3 innings to the Milwaukee Brewers]. Today I felt terrible and I can't throw a strike.
"Luckily I was able to make some decent pitches when I had to. Maybe I was effectively wild."
David Wright drove in two runs with a first-inning double and Mike Baxter was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. Jose Bautista drove in two runs for Toronto with a home run and a single.
Gee (3-3) allowed five hits, four walks and three runs while striking out six in a 113-pitch outing before being replaced by Bobby Parnell.
All three of the 25-year-old's wins have been on the road.
"They're an outstanding offensive ballclub so to go out there and have a quality start and give us a chance to win, it was big for
me," Gee said. "Especially after the past rough ones that I've had."
"I think it's a very big start for Dillon, I really do," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He needed to get back on track. He's shaved and done all the things guys do when
they think they're in a slump. Changed socks, new shoes, all the things players do to break the jinx and then he went out a pitched a great ball game."
Frank Francisco, who pitched for the Blue Jays in 2011, picked up his 10th save of the season with three strikeouts after allowing a walk and a single to start the ninth.
"Frankie coming back here, I thought he might be amped up," Collins said. "There was a great crowd today. With the middle of that lineup I said, 'If you're ever going to show your true colors now is the time.' He hit 98 a couple of times on the gun so we know it's still in there."
Francisco, who had his struggles in Toronto. was booed when he entered the game. "I didn't hear anything," he said.
The crowd reached a fever pitch when he walked Yunel Escobar and Bautista singled with none out. Then he struck out the next three batters, Edwin Encarnacion, J.P. Arencibia and Eric Thames.
"I don't think I changed anything," Francisco said. "I threw all my pitches and was just trying to hit my spot. I believe that if I hit my spot, good things will happen."
When he was asked why he was booed, he said. "Because they love me and I left."
"We felt like we'd set it up in the ninth, down a run, get the first two guys on," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Then in the middle of the order, where we've been able to do some damage of late, certainly not the way things we envisioned turning out."
"To punch out the side after the two first batters getting on, he's kind of tough," Arencibia said. "He's throwing 98 down and away, it's not easy. Then Parnell made pitches when he had to at 101 miles an hour. So those are tough at-bats so that's why those guys finish games."
The Mets reached 22-year-old right-hander Henderson Alvarez (3-4) for nine hits, two walks and six runs in five innings.
"I thought in the first couple of innings he was so strong coming out of the bullpen he was almost throwing through his sink," Farrell said. "Some fastballs straightened out, they got up in the zone where they bunched some hits together for the three runs in the first."
The Mets (22-19) scored three runs in the first inning on a leadoff walk by Andres Torres and doubles by Baxter, Wright and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Toronto center fielder Colby Rasmus made a diving attempt on Nieuwenhuis' hit but the ball was ruled to have popped out of his glove before the catch was completed.
Ronny Cedeno's leadoff single and Baxter's two-out triple to right in the second put the Mets ahead by four.
But the Blue Jays (23-19) got one back in the home second on two walks and a single by Yan Gomes.
Bautista, who started as designated hitter instead of in right field, led off the third with his 11th home run of the season to cut the Mets' lead to 4-2.
The Mets scored two in the fifth. Baxter, Wright and Daniel Murphy singled for one. A bobble by second baseman Kelly Johnson turned Ike Davis' grounder into a force instead of a double play as a run scored.
Gomes was hit by a pitch to lead off the home seventh and scored on Bautista's two-out single.
The Blue Jays opened the eighth against Parnell with doubles by Arencibia and Thames. Rasmus broke out of a 0-for-20 funk with a single to make the score 6-5.
Notes: The Mets placed right-hander Miguel Batista (lower back strain) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-hander Chris Schwinden, 25, who is 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA with Class AAA Buffalo. Batista, 1-1 with a 3.95 earned-run average, came out of Saturday's start against the Blue Jays after two innings....Farrell would not comment on reports that first baseman Adam Lind was put on outright waivers on Friday, a day after being sent to Class AAA Las Vegas on Thursday. ....Wright's first-inning double was No 1,301 for him as a Met, second on the team's all-time list to the 1,418 by Ed Kranepool. ...Ben Francisco started in right field for Toronto but left the game in the sixth with tightness in a hamstring ...,The Blue Jays open a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Monday while the Mets go to Pittsburgh for three games.
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