Flexen, Smith lead Mets over Diamondbacks 4-2
NEW YORK (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks are gearing up for a playoff race, aiming to make a push in the final weeks. The New York Mets have different priorities, trading away key veterans and letting their rookies get a taste of the big leagues.
Youth was served on Wednesday night, as New York’s newbies held the heart of Arizona’s order in check and provided just enough offense to come away with a victory.
Chris Flexen pitched six effective innings, rookie Dominic Smith homered and the Mets ended a three-game skid, beating the Diamondbacks 4-2.
Arizona leads Colorado by a half-game for the NL’s top wild-card spot. The Mets won for just the second time in 10 games, snapping a six-game losing streak to the Diamondbacks.
Making his sixth big league start, Flexen (3-2) gave up two runs and six hits. He walked four and struck out five.
”We built some innings, we got some situations where we had the right guys up in the right moments. The pitcher made some pitches and got some really good hitters out,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. ”It’s not a perfect science. These guys are doing their absolute best. It just didn’t work out.”
Jake Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt left a total of 11 men on base out of the three and four spots in the Arizona lineup. The two All-Stars have a combined 193 RBIs this season.
”I had four opportunities and didn’t come through in any of them. Guys did a good job in front of me getting on and I wasn’t able to get them in,” Goldschmidt said. ”It’s definitely on me. I have to do a better job than that.”
Flexen escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth, helped by his defense. J.D. Martinez hit a liner to shallow center field that was caught by a charging Juan Lagares, and the former Gold Glover threw a strike home to get A.J. Pollock at the plate.
”All things considered, I thought it was a risky play,” Lovullo said. ”We forced guys to make plays against us all year long. It just didn’t work for us.”
The Mets led 3-2 when Smith began the sixth by connecting against reliever Jake Barrett.
”It’s a lot of fun for us to be able to come up here and help the team win ballgames,” Smith said of the Mets’ youngsters. ”I’m just happy that we could come up here and show the world what we could do.”
AJ Ramos worked around a two-out walk for his 23rd save in 25 chances. He has converted all three save opportunities with the Mets.
Zack Godley (5-7) pitched five innings.
”It was a battle, but it was a battle with myself,” Godley said. ”I was struggling to locate pitches and they took advantage of it.”
Martinez hit an RBI single in the first. Brandon Nimmo doubled to start the bottom half and scored on Michael Conforto’s single.
Conforto singled home Nimmo again in the fifth.
Chris Iannetta closed the gap to 3-2 in the Arizona sixth with his 12th home run.
Pollock was tagged out at the plate by Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud. In the eighth, Pollock robbed d’Arnaud of a home run by making a leaping grab at the center field wall.
Diamondbacks: Nick Ahmed (broken right hand) felt great after playing six innings at shortstop with the rookie-level Diamondbacks on Tuesday, according to Lovullo. The next step is for Ahmed to get some at-bats with Triple-A Reno, but the club wanted to see how he was feeling throughout the course of the day Wednesday before committing to a timetable.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (torn lat muscle) was expected to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, but the team decided to push it back a day or two. `’We talked about it today and we got a lot of people together – including the trainers – and they just said they’d like to take an extra day with him,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. `’Whether it’s tomorrow or the next day I think you’ll see it soon that he’ll throw to some hitters.” … RHP Jeurys Familia (blood clot in right arm) appeared for Class A Brooklyn for the second straight night, throwing 13 pitches in a scoreless inning. … RHP Seth Lugo (right shoulder impingement) was expected to throw what his skipper called a `’touch and feel” on Wednesday. `’Then we’ll take a look at him on Friday and see if he’s ready to throw a pen,” Collins said. … LHP Steven Matz underwent successful season-ending surgery to decompress and reposition the ulnar nerve in his left elbow. … RHP Matt Harvey (stress injury to right shoulder) will make his next rehab start on Saturday for Class A St. Lucie.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (9-5, 3.11 ERA) will be activated from the DL to start Thursday afternoon’s series finale. The first-time All-Star last pitched in the majors on July 28 in St. Louis, where he suffered a concussion after being struck in the head by a line drive.
Mets: RHP Rafael Montero (2-8, 5.47 ERA) worked six innings of one-run ball against Miami on Saturday, earning his first win since June 25.