NEW YORK (AP) — Christian Vázquez hit an early RBI double, producing the only run required for the Boston Red Sox to beat Jacob deGrom and the punchless New York Mets 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Nick Pivetta (3-0) and three relievers combined on a two-hitter as the surprising AL East leaders swept a two-game interleague series at Citi Field.
Xander Bogaerts doubled off the left-center fence to open the second inning and one out later, Vázquez drove a shoulder-high 0-2 fastball clocked at 100 mph the other way into the right-center gap.
After that, deGrom (2-2) held Boston off the scoreboard — but the Mets couldn’t muster anything at the plate in their latest offensive flop with the two-time Cy Young Award winner on the mound. Lack of support has been a troubling theme throughout his stellar career.
The right-hander struck out nine and walked one in six innings of three-hit ball. He needed 10 pitches in the third to strike out Pivetta, who fouled off six in a feisty at-bat.
DeGrom was coming off a career-high 15 strikeouts without a walk in a two-hit shutout of Washington last Friday when he retired his final 19 batters. He fanned at least 14 in each of his past three starts, joining Pedro Martinez and Gerrit Cole as the only pitchers to accomplish that feat.
DeGrom’s 0.51 ERA is the best for a Mets pitcher through five starts, and his 59 strikeouts match Nolan Ryan for the most in major league history over the first five starts in a season. Ryan racked up his Ks in 1978 with the Angels.
Pivetta whiffed seven in five innings, allowing just one hit. Garrett Whitlock had four strikeouts in two innings of one-hit ball, and Adam Ottavino worked a hitless eighth as restless Mets fans in a sold-out crowd of 8,051 booed the team’s struggling hitters.
Matt Barnes struck out all three batters in the ninth for his sixth save, sealing Boston’s first shutout of the season.
Of the 64 hitters in the game, 30 struck out — 15 for each team.
Boston pitching also dominated the series opener in a 2-1 victory Tuesday.
Red Sox: OF Alex Verdugo was back in the starting lineup after entering as a defensive replacement Tuesday night. Verdugo had a hamstring cramp Saturday and sat out Sunday. … Christian Arroyo was doing well and available off the bench, manager Alex Cora said, adding the infielder will probably start one of the upcoming games in Texas this weekend. Arroyo was hit by a pitch on his left hand Sunday.
Mets: CF Brandon Nimmo was back in the starting lineup after pinch-hitting Tuesday night. Nimmo received a cortisone injection Monday for an impingement in his right hip.
The Mets claimed catcher Deivy Grullón off waivers from Tampa Bay and optioned him to the alternate training site.
Red Sox: LHP Martín Pérez (0-1, 5.71 ERA) starts Thursday night against RHP Kyle Gibson (2-0, 2.30) when Boston opens a four-game series at Texas.
Mets: After their second day off this week Thursday, the Mets send RHP Marcus Stroman (3-1, 2.25 ERA) to the mound Friday night in Philadelphia against RHP Chase Anderson (0-3, 6.48).
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