Mets beat D-backs in fog for 1st back-to-back wins in month
NEW YORK (AP) Mets manager Mickey Callaway turned to his players in the middle of the ninth inning and in a fun tone reminded them of the stark reality: New York had not won consecutive games in a month.
”It kind of got everybody riled up a little bit,” Devin Mesoraco recalled. ”It was a pretty cool thing to do in the situation.”
Six minutes later, his players were celebrating.
Mesoraco hit a tying, two-run homer through Citi Field’s murky fog in the eighth inning , Wilmer Flores sparked the celebration with a game-ending sacrifice fly in the ninth and the Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 Saturday night to win consecutive games for the first time since April 11 and 13.
”Those things can turn around seasons,” said Brandon Nimmo, who led off the ninth with a double off the right-field wall on an 0-2 slider from Andrew Chafin (0-1) – ending a season-long 0-for-12 slide against lefties.
Arizona elected not to intentionally walk the bases loaded, and Flores – on another 0-2 slider – hit a 295-foot fly that left fielder David Peralta caught in the corner. Nimmo scored standing up, without a throw.
Flores has eight walkoff RBIs, one behind Mets career leader David Wright. Flores’ ninth-inning homer beat Milwaukee at Citi Field on April 15.
”We really needed this one,” Flores said.
On a day when focus was on the Royal Wedding in often-foggy London and the Preakness at socked-in Baltimore, the game started 34 minutes late after a daylong rain with the temperature in the mid-50s, and flyouts and popups transformed into fuzzy pellets that became tricky for fielders to track. The Diamondbacks were costumed for the noir scene in dark gray uniforms, and many of the fans who remained streamed out when rain resumed in the eighth inning.
”It got more difficult as the night went on,” Nimmo said. ”The umpires were talking to us about, `Hey, can you see the ball?”’
Jeurys Familia (2-1) retired three straight batters for the Mets, who had gone 9-18 after an 11-1 start before winning the first two games of the series against the Diamondbacks.
NL West-leading Arizona has dropped nine of 10, and Chafin lost for the first time since May 3, 2016.
John Ryan Murphy hit a two-run homer and tied his career high with three RBIs, helping the Diamondbacks open a 4-2 lead.
But Archie Bradley entered in the eighth and blew the lead in just three pitches, allowing a leadoff single to Jay Bruce and Mesoraco’s third home run in 21 at-bats since the Mets acquired him on May 8 from Cincinnati.
”I want to play games that are important,” Mesoraco said.
Arizona’s bullpen entered with a big league-best 2.39 ERA.
”Given the last week, we really wanted to come in and shut this one down,” Bradley said. ”When things are going bad, they’re just kind of going bad.”
New York elected to have Steven Matz pitch to Murphy with first base open and pitcher Patrick Corbin on deck with two outs in both the second and fourth innings. Murphy singled for a 1-0 lead and put Arizona ahead 4-2 with his fourth home run this year and the ninth of his six-season big league career.
Both hits were off changeups, which irked Callaway.
”You don’t throw changeups to pitch around guys. You throw your fastball, because you know you can get it where you want to,” the manager said. ”The changeup is a pitch that you’re using when you’re ahead in the count to get guys off of whatever you did before.”
Paul Goldschmidt led off the three-run fourth with his first home run in 106 at-bats since he went deep off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw on April 15. Goldschmidt entered 5 for 59 (.085) in May, including a four-strikeout night Friday.
BEEN A LONG TIME
Michael Conforto hit a two-run homer in the second , the first home run by a Mets left-handed batter against a lefty this year. It was New York’s 95th at-bat vs. southpaws, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Winless in five starts, Corbin topped 90 mph just twice; his fastball was mostly in the 88 mph range. He allowed two runs, four hits, four walks and a hit batter in 5 1/3 innings.
”I think location – I’ve been able to do that,” Corbin said.
Diamondbacks: RF Steven Souza Jr. reinjured his right pectoral muscle on a throw from right field Friday night and had an MRI Saturday that showed a strain and inflammation. He was on the DL from the start of the season until May 3 because of a similar injury, Arizona will wait until Monday before deciding whether to put him back on the DL.
Mets: 3B Todd Frazier, who hasn’t played since May 7 because of a strained left hamstring, still feels pain while running and doesn’t know when he will be able to come off the DL. ”I’d rather lose two more weeks if that’s the case than two more months,” he said. ”I don’t know what to do. I get all my stuff done four hours before the game and know what? You just sit there and mope around.”
RHP Clay Buchholz will be brought up from the minors to start Sunday for Arizona, the first big league appearance for the 33-year-old since he tore the flexor tendon in his right forearm pitching for Philadelphia against the Mets on April 11 last year. Buchholz had surgery a week later. RHP Noah Syndergaard (3-1) starts for the Mets.
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