D-backs again shut down, drop opener to Mets
NEW YORK — Healthy, fresh and on top of his game, Jacob deGrom simply overpowered an Arizona Diamondbacks lineup that’s been scuffling all month.
The right-hander matched a career high with 13 strikeouts, Michael Conforto went 4 for 4 with two RBIs and the New York Mets beat the Diamondbacks 3-1 on Friday night.
“He had everything working and he was just lights out,” Conforto said.
Wilmer Flores drove in one run and scored another to help the Mets win a series opener between struggling teams. Both bolted to fast starts this season before sputtering lately.
After an abbreviated outing last weekend in his return from the disabled list, deGrom (4-0) threw seven dominant innings this time. He’s won his first four decisions for the first time in his career.
“He was awesome,” catcher Devin Mesoraco said. “He’s got so many weapons. They can’t really look for one thing. He had them all going today.”
DeGrom’s career-best scoreless streak of 24 1/3 innings was snapped when Jake Lamb, just back from a shoulder injury, hit an RBI double in the sixth. Lamb was thrown out stretching at third for the second out of the inning.
Slumping slugger Paul Goldschmidt fanned all four times up against deGrom, who permitted six hits and walked none while lowering his ERA to 1.75. The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year missed a turn with a hyperextended right elbow before returning Sunday in Philadelphia, only to be removed as a precaution after it took him 45 pitches to get through the first inning.
“I was a little worried that he would tire out, just because he’s had such a crazy schedule,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “I was hesitant to put him back out there (in the seventh), but he really wanted it so we let him go back out and he did a great job.”
Robert Gsellman worked a perfect eighth and Jeurys Familia struck out the side in the ninth for his 12th save in 15 tries.
It was the third time deGrom has whiffed 13 in a regular-season game. He also did it during the 2015 playoffs against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“His fastball was exploding out of his hand,” Arizona’s Daniel Descalso said.
Jake Lamb's first hit since April 2 drives in Souza and gets the @Dbacks on the board. More work to do, though.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) May 19, 2018
Conforto, who had four singles to equal his career high for hits, raised his batting average 31 points to .231.
He had a two-out RBI single in the first inning and another in the fifth. Both came off starter Zack Godley (4-3), who allowed one earned run and four hits in six innings.
“I felt good. It’s kind of been a process at the plate,” Conforto said. “I was able to be in a situation where I could drive some guys in. Hopefully it gets us rolling.”
Flores had an RBI groundout in the first after a costly error by Descalso at second base. Flores also doubled and scored on Conforto’s single in the fifth.
Arizona, which still leads the NL West, opened a three-city road trip with its eighth loss in nine games.
“I feel like we’re a better offensive team than we’ve been showing,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “At some point, it’s going to turn.”
SOUZA LEAVES WITH DISCOMFORT
On a throw from right field, Steven Souza Jr. aggravated the right pectoral injury he sustained during spring training that kept him out until May 3. “It’s way better than that,” Souza said. “The first one was painful and I could barely move. But this one’s just a little bit different.” He was replaced by Chris Owings in the sixth inning and will have an MRI on Saturday. “Just frustrating, obviously,” Souza said. “Just kind of flared up again.”
Diamondbacks RHP Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery) made his second start at extended spring training Thursday, allowing two runs and two hits with seven strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. He threw 63 pitches, 43 for strikes. His next step is to get up to about 75 pitches and five innings at extended spring, manager Torey Lovullo said. … LHP Robbie Ray (strained right oblique) played catch from 90 feet. … RHP Randall Delgado (strained left oblique) threw a bullpen. … RHP Braden Shipley (right elbow inflammation) was activated from the 10-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Reno.
Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (4-1, 2.53 ERA), coming off a loss to Milwaukee, pitches the middle game of the series Saturday night. Corbin is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in seven career games, six starts, against the Mets. Opponents are batting .174 against him this season, which ranks second among NL starters. Mets LHP Steven Matz (1-3, 3.86) has been effective in his last two outings. Matz is 4-1 with a 1.39 ERA over seven career starts in May.