Max Scherzer leaves early with discomfort in Mets win

Max Scherzer bounced back from a sore left side start Wednesday night before the Mets finished with an 11-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pete Alonso homered and drove in four runs for the Mets (25-14), who improved to 13-1 after a loss. The only time they lost back-to-back games this season was on April 10-11.

Jeff McNeil hit an early two-run single and Alonso broke a tie at 2 with an RBI single off rookie reliever Jake Walsh (0-1) in a four-run fifth inning. Dominic Smith drove in a run on a single during the burst, and Luis Guillorme drove in another on a well-executed safety shot.

The Mets’ batters were hit by pitches three times, raising their major league-leading total to 28. That includes eight of the Cardinals’ pitchers in six games — the teams engaged in a melee to clear the bench in St.Louis last month.

Both benches were warned Wednesday night after Mark Canha was hit near the ribs by a 98 mph fastball from Cardinals starter Jordan Hicks in the third, but there were no issues between the teams.

Canha scored three times and followed Brandon Nimmo’s run-scoring triple with an RBI single as the Mets opened a 6-4 game with a five-run eighth capped by Alonso’s three-run homer off TJ McFarland.

Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals. Albert Pujols had two hits to pass Eddie Collins for 10th on the career list with 3,314, including a two-run single off Scherzer (5-1).

The three-time Cy Young Award winner walked away with two outs in the sixth on a 1-1 count over Pujols. He will have an MRI on Thursday, the Mets said.

With two runners on, Scherzer hit a slider to the ground and immediately signaled to the New York bench that he was done.

Pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, manager Buck Showalter and a trainer came off the bench to visit Scherzer on the mound. After a brief discussion, the 37-year-old righty walked off the field.

Scherzer struck out on 61 of 87 pitches and led 6-2 against his hometown team. Adam Ottavino was given all the time he needed to warm up and struck out Pujols to end the inning.

The 42-year-old Pujols, who stole second from Scherzer, also rolled with the score 6-4 and a runner off Seth Lugo to finish the eighth.

BALTIMORE — On a night when their bats were under control, the Yankees found another way to win.

Gerrit Cole pitched seven efficient innings, the defense backed him up with several solid plays and New York beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Cole (4-0) allowed two runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Behind him, right fielder Marwin Gonzalez made two clutch grabs and Josh Donaldson called out several ground balls. Then, in the eighth, first baseman Anthony Rizzo grabbed a searing line drive to start an unassisted double play.

The Yankees managed just six hits, but a three-run first inning that featured a sprint from second to home on a wild pitch was enough to clinch the win.

And that, in large part, explains why New York is off to an amazing 28-9 start.

“Tonight we won baserunning and defense,” Cole said, “and we’re the Bronx Bombers.”

Home runs are not required. The Yankees could only muster a pair of doubles but still secured their 21st victory in 24 games.

“It’s been a great start, for sure,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I am really satisfied with the way they are doing, in many different ways. Tonight we lean on the pitching and the great baserunning.”

New York took the lead in the first inning when Gleyber Torres followed two-out singles by Rizzo and Donaldson with an RBI double. Then, on a wild pitch by Jordan Lyles, Donaldson scored and Torres came home on a missed throw to the plate by catcher Anthony Bemboom.

That was enough to propel the Yankees to their ninth win in the last 10 games. New York’s 28-9 start is tied for the second-best in the majors since 1948, trailing only the 1984 Detroit Tigers at 32-5.

The Yankees will try to complete a four-game sweep of last-place Baltimore on Thursday afternoon. The Orioles, who have lost six straight, are the only team to win a series against the Yankees this season, winning two of three in mid-April.

After Cole’s impressive outing was realized, Clay Holmes worked the final two innings for his third career save, all this season and all against the Orioles.

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