Mets 6, Diamondbacks 2
PHOENIX, May 31 — Jacob deGrom struck out eight in six innings of two-hit ball, and Pete Alonso returned from the injured list with a two-hit, four RBI outburst as the New York Mets defeated the host Arizona Diamondbacks, 6–2, Monday night.
Early Pitchers’ Duel before Mets Pull Ahead of Diamondbacks
Both pitchers made it to the third without giving up a hit. One early highlight came from Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly, who, after walking leadoff man Jonathan Villar, picked him off at first. In the top of the third, Mets second baseman Jose Peraza and center fielder Mason Williams hit consecutive singles to left. After two strikeouts, Francisco Lindor singled to right, but a strong throw home by Josh Reddick held Peraza at third. It did not matter, as Pete Alonso followed with a two-run single to left.
Another Mets run came across in the fourth after a gift. With two out, Peraza lofted a high fly to left-center. Both left fielder David Peralta and center fielder Ketel Marte ran for the ball. A miscommunication allowed it to fall harmlessly between them. With a runner on second and the pitcher on deck, the Diamondbacks walked Wililams intentionally. deGrom made them pay, driving in Peraza with a single.
The Mets blew it open in the seventh on a one-out single by Villar and two-run, two-out blast by Alonso, chasing Kelly from the game as the Mets took a 5–0 lead. Ryan Buchter came in, and, after surrendering a double to Dominic Smith, retired James McCann on a fly to right for the third out.
Finishing It Off
Trevor May took the hill for the Mets in the bottom of the seventh. Eduardo Escobar welcomed him to the game with his 13th home run of the season. Three batters later, Pavin Smith cracked a two-out single. After Smith advanced to second on a wild pitch, Reddick plated him with a single of his own. May left the game in favor of Miguel Castro, who gave up a deep fly to center by Domingo Leyba. It appeared to be destined for Leyba’s first hit of the season in 20 tries, but a spectacular leaping catch against the wall by Williams robbed him and kept the score 5–2 in favor of the Mets.
Billy McKinney made it 6–2 in the top of the eighth with a leadoff homer off Buchter. The Diamondbacks threatened in the bottom of the eighth after a pair of two-out singles by Marte and Escobar, but a grounder to third by Peralta ended the threat with a whimper. Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the victory for the Mets.
Manager Torey Lovullo was not pleased with the mental mistakes. “We’re not doing things the Diamondback Way. We’ve got to tighten things up around here. I know I’ve been saying that now for probably two weeks. My challenge to these guys is to find a way to keep fighting — which they do — but to take care of those little things.”
Merrill Kelly felt his outing was much better than the pitching line indicated. “(It was) pretty solid, other than one pitch,” he said. “The first one to (Pete) Alonso probably could have been a little more in. We got the ground ball, but it just got through the hole. The curveball (that went for a home run) is obviously the one I wish I would have had back. I’m frustrated that in both those situations, I put some good work in to get the two outs and then got beaten with two outs.”
Lovullo admitted that it’s frustrating to need to remind the players to tighten things up, because “I expect us to do things a certain way. We have raised the bar here to a certain level. When we don’t meet that standard, those are the most frustrating moments that I have. I know these guys do, too. They’re hurting, too. They know what they need to do and how they need to do it…. We’re just not doing it on a consistent basis.”
The series continues Tuesday at 6:40 pm Arizona time. Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman (4–4, 2.47 ERA) will face Diamondbacks lefty Caleb Smith (2–1, 3.27 ERA).
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Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Merrill Kelly, Jonathan Villar, Jose Peraza, Mason Williams, Francisco Lindor, Josh Reddick, David Peralta, Ketel Marte, Ryan Buchter, Dominic Smith, James McCann, Trevor May, Eduardo Escobar, Pavin Smith, Miguel Castro, Domingo Leyba, Billy McKinney, Jeurys Familia, Torey Lovullo, Marcus Stroman, Caleb Smith