Jose Butto twirls gem, Mets rally late to close series with 2-1 win over Royals

The Mets rallied late to defeat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

Here are some takeaways...

- Jose Butto took the mound for New York making his second start of the season and he was tremendous again. The righty had his changeup working early, striking out six and allowing just one hit across the first three innings. He issued a leadoff walk in the fourth but bounced back quickly, getting Salvador Perez to ground into a double play on the very next pitch.

Butto continued cruising after that, picking up another punchout in a perfect fifth. He picked up two more strikeouts in the sixth, before Bobby Witt Jr. cracked a two out double, but Vinnie Pasquantino lined out to end the inning. The 26-year-old put together his best outing as a Met, allowing just three base runners on two hits and a walk, while striking out nine across six shutout innings.

- As was the case in his first outing, though, Butto received no run support as the Mets' offense was stymied by Kansas City's impressive young starter Cole Ragans. The hard-throwing left-hander allowed five hits while striking out eight and walking one across six shutout innings.

- New York's biggest opportunity against the southpaw came in the bottom of the fourth, as back-to-back hits from Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor put them in scoring position for the heart of the order. After Pete Alonso popped out, though, Marte was gunned down at the plate on an absolutely perfect throw from MJ Melendez on a Tyrone Taylor fly out to shallow left field.

Lindor enjoyed a strong day at the plate, recording just his second multi-hit game of the season, but he popped out with the bases loaded to waste another opportunity in the bottom of the seventh.

- Adam Ottavino continued his strong stretch of pitching, putting together his fourth consecutive scoreless appearance, before Brooks Raley struck out a pair in a perfect eighth.

- After both of these high-powered offenses were held scoreless through 7.2 innings, the Mets were finally able to break the ice, as Harrison Bader drove in a run with an infield single with the bases loaded and Brandon Nimmo added another the easy way with a four-pitch walk.

- Edwin Diaz entered and he allowed a solo homer to Pasquantino but quickly settled back in and put the finishing touches on the victory and his first Citi Field save since returning from injury.

- Brett Baty had the day off against the tough left-hander, but after Ragans was pulled, he came off the bench and reached base twice with a bloop single and a walk.

MVP of the Game: Jose Butto

Butto was absolutely spectacular for the Mets in just his 10th career big-league start, allowing just three base runners to reach while striking out nine across six shutout innings.

After a strong spring training showing, the young right-hander has stepped up tremendously for New York, recording two of their three quality starts on the year.


Upcoming schedule

The Mets open a three-game set with the red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

Adrian Houser takes the ball against veteran left-hander Martin Perez, who has been spectacular across his first two outings.