The New York Mets offense exploded for a 9-0 beat down of the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night at Chase Field in Phoenix. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, impressed in his season debut, going 3-5 with three RBIs, including a two-run home run and a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch in the outfield.
The Mets called up the 26-year-old on Tuesday as replacement for starting centerfielder Juan Lagares, who pulled his left hamstring Monday night. Mets starter Jenrry Mejia pitched five shutout innings striking out three batters, but left the game early due to a torn blister on the tip of the middle finger of his pitching arm. He is expected to make his next start. Tuesday night’s victory was the first time the team reached .500 this season, and in nearly a full year.
Left fielder Eric Young Jr., led off the game for the Mets with an infield single, his sixth consecutive game getting on base to start the game. Second baseman Daniel Murphy and star third baseman David Wright each singled, loading the bases for first baseman Lucas Duda. Duda hit a groundball right at Diamondbacks’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt bobbled the ball, threw to second trying to start the double play. Wright was out at second and Aaron Hill, Arizona’s second baseman, threw back to first but Duda was safe. Young scored on the play giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. Right fielder Andrew Brown hit a sacrifice fly to deep center easily scoring Murphy and moving Duda over to second making it 2-0. Kirk Nieuwenhuis then singled to center scoring Duda making it 3-0 Mets. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud then grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Nieuwenhuis forced out at second for the third out.
Jenrry Mejia shined in his third outing of the year. The young hard-throwing righty was perfect through the first three innings. After a rough first inning, D-backs starter Bronson Arroyo retired the next six batters he faced. In the top of the fourth though New York’s offense erupted for six more runs. Andrew Brown singled to center to start the top of the fourth inning. Kirk Nieuwenhuis then blasted a ball that went into the pool in right field giving the Mets a 5-0 lead. Travis d’Arnaud followed with a walk, and shortstop Omar Quintanilla doubled to deep center advancing d’Arnaud over to third. Jenrry Mejia flied out to left field; too shallow for d’Arnaud to try and score. Eric Young then singled to center, scoring d’Arnaud with Quintanila right behind him extending the Mets lead to 7-0. Daniel Murphy followed with a single to left field. Centerfielder A.J. Pollock booted the ball, allowing Young to score making it 8-0. David Wright continued the hit parade with a single of his own to left. That would be the last batter Arroyo faced for the night.
Randal Delgado came in to relieve Arroyo and immediately hit Lucas Duda with a pitch to load the bases. Brown, in his second at-bat of the inning, grounded into a fielder’s choice. Duda was out at second, but Murphy scored, making it 9-0 Mets. Nieuwenhuis then grounded back to Delgado for the final out.
Right fielder Geraldo Parra walked to start the bottom of the fourth, ending Mejia’s perfect game. Third baseman Martín Prado struck out looking for the first out. Paul Goldschmidt followed with a single to left, advancing Parra to third. Mejia then got catcher Miguel Montero to fly out to shallow left, and struck out second baseman Aaron Hill to end the inning.
The Mets were held scoreless in the top of the fifth. Left fielder Mark Trumbo hit a ball to deep center field and Nieuwenhuis made his spectacular catch for the first out of the inning. Mejia then walked shortstop Chris Owings, and allowed an infield single to A.J. Pollock. Infielder Eric Chavez came in to pinch-hit for the pitcher Randal Delgado. Chavez grounded out to second moving Owings and Pollock to second and third. Geraldo Parra then grounded out to end the inning.
The Mets would get only two more base runners all game but it did not matter. New York cruised the rest of the way to a 9-0 shutout victory.
Mets right-handed veteran Dillon Gee faces off against the Diamondbacks Brandon McCarthy tomorrow afternoon.
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