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Mets lose 2 of 3 to Blue Jays

The Mets’ playoff hopes took another significant hit on Sunday, when a middle-innings bullpen implosion sent them to a 7-3 loss to the Blue Jays at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, N.Y. The Mets (21-26) are now five games under .500 with 13 to play and will, in all probability, need to win at least nine of their remaining games to make the postseason.

Even that might not be enough after relievers Brad Brach and Jared Hughes walked the first four batters in the sixth en route to a five-run Blue Jays rally. Brach walked all three batters he faced before Hughes issued another free pass to force in a run. Hughes then gave up a bases-clearing double to Santiago Espinal and an RBI single to Danny Jansen, turning a one-run game into a breezy Jays victory.

The Mets never recovered, despite a solid start from David Peterson — five innings, two runs — and an eighth-inning rally of their own. The team managed eight hits off Jays starter Hyun Jin Ryu, but only one run.