Eovaldi flirts with perfection as Rays rout Mets 9-0

   Nathan Eovaldi took a perfect game into the seventh inning, C.J. Cron hit an early three-run homer and the Tampa Bay Rays routed the New York Mets 9-0 on Sunday.   
   Eovaldi retired his first 18 batters before Brandon Nimmo lined a clean single to right field leading off the seventh. Nimmo was quickly erased on a double play, and Eovaldi faced the minimum through seven innings.
   The right-hander, who returned this season from his second Tommy John surgery, struck out nine and helped himself with an RBI single. Andrew Kittredge pitched the final two innings for the Rays, giving up a single in the ninth before finishing the two-hitter.
   Joey Wendle and Jake Bauers also homered for Tampa Bay. 
   It was the second time this season Eovaldi (3-3) made it through six innings without allowing a hit. He threw six hitless innings in May against Oakland for a 6-0 Rays win in his first major league start since 2016.
   Three times this year Eovaldi has gone six or more innings and given up no more than one hit, tied with Pittsburgh's Trevor Williams for most in the majors. 
   Cron's home run gave the Rays a 3-0 lead in the first. He connected on a fastball down the middle from Chris Flexen (0-2) and drove it into the second deck in left field. The homer was Cron's 17th of the season, setting a career high. 
   Flexen, making his first big league start since last September, struggled with command early. He only lasted three innings on a day when the Mets needed length from their starter ahead of a doubleheader Monday. He gave up five earned runs in three innings, walking three and hitting a batter with a pitch.
   Eovaldi knocked in a run in the fifth when he beat out an infield single to make it 6-0.
   A day after putting the leadoff hitter on in seven of nine innings, the listless Mets were shut out for the second consecutive game. They've been blanked eight times this season and have gone 14 straight series without winning one.
   Rays: RHP Chaz Roe was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left meniscus tear. He will have a procedure Friday and is expected to miss at least four to six weeks. RHP Jaime Schultz was recalled from Triple-A. ... Gold Glove CF Kevin Kiermaier did not start due to back tightness. ... SS Willy Adames sat out for the second consecutive day due to illness. ... 2B Daniel Robertson was hit by a pitch on the inside of his right elbow in the first but stayed in the game. ... OF Mallex Smith left with leg cramps after running the bases in the fifth.
   Mets: SS Amed Rosario was given a planned day off. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Rosario will play both games Monday against Philadelphia. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard was scheduled to make a rehab start at Class A Brooklyn, his first game since being placed on the disabled list May 26 with a strained ligament in the index finger on his pitching hand. 
   Rays: RHP Chris Archer (3-4, 4.24 ERA) pitches the series opener Monday night at home against Detroit. It will be Archer's first start since June 2 when he was placed on the DL for the first time in his career with a left abdominal strain. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said Archer will be limited to "loosely" 70 pitches. 
   Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.36 ERA) starts the opener against the Phillies, and RHP Corey Oswalt (0-1, 7.94) goes in the nightcap as the teams make up an April 2 postponement.