In the first game of a double-header Sunday afternoon the Mets lost a 2-1 pitcher’s duel to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In his third career start, Mets rookie pitcher Rafael Montero dominated. One of the young pitchers fighting to keep his spot in the starting rotation, Montero went six innings, allowing only one run on a solo home run in the first inning, just two hits, walking three batters while striking out a whopping 10.
Both teams struggled offensively, each leaving 10 men on base. Reliever Evan Marshall picked up the win to improve to 2-0 while Jenrry Mejia took his first loss, dropping to 4-1 on the season with Diamondbacks closer Addison Reed notching his 14th save.
Arizona right fielder Gerardo Parra led off the game with a fly out to left. Shortstop Chris Owings hooked a fly ball around the left field foul pole for a solo shot, giving the Diamondbacks an early 1-0 lead. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt and catcher Miguel Montero both struck out swinging to retire the side.
Centerfielder Juan Lagares started the bottom of the first with a single to left, and second baseman Daniel Murphy followed with a single to left as well. Third baseman David Wright then singled to left, bringing in Lagares to tie the game 1-1. Right fielder Curtis Granderson struck out swinging, left fielder Chris Young hit a pop-up behind the plate in foul territory for the second out, and first baseman Lucas Duda hit a ball about two feet in front of the plate fielded by D-back catcher Miguel Montero for the final out of the inning. Both teams failed to score in the second inning.
In the top of the third, D-backs veteran starter Bronson Arroyo started by striking out looking. Gerardo Parra then grounded out to the Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores. Chris Owings followed with a walk and Goldschmidt blooped a single to center, advancing Owings to third. Miguel Montero then grounded to second to retire the side.
Daniel Murphy grounded out to first leading off the bottom of the third. David Wright hit a fast bouncing ball right at Chris Owings. The ball bounced off Owings glove for a base hit. Curtis Granderson was then hit with a pitch from Arroyo to put runners at first and second with one out. Chris Young then grounded into a double play to end the inning. Neither the Mets nor D-Backs scored for the next two innings. Arizona was retired in order by Montero in the top of the sixth.
Wright reached on an error by Chris Owings to lead off the bottom of the sixth and Granderson followed with a walk. Chris Young then grounded a ball to third baseman Eric Chavez. Chavez stepped on the bag to force out Wright, and threw to first completing the double play. Lucas Duda then flied out to left to end the inning.
Young flamethrower Jeurys Familia replaced Rafael Montero in the top of the seventh inning. Eric Chavez lined a pitch to right field. The ball bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. Centerfielder A.J. Pollack then grounded out to shortstop but Chavez moved over to third on the play. Left fielder Alfredo Marte struck out swinging and outfielder Cody Ross, pinch-hitting for Bronson Arroyo, also struck out swinging to retire the side. The Mets did not bring in a run in the bottom half of the seventh.
In the top of the eighth lefty reliever Josh Edgin entered in relief of Familia. Gerardo Parra grounded out to short for the first out. It would be the only batter Edgin would face. Mets manager Terry Collins pulled the lefty reliever in favor of Jose Valverde.
Owings then flied out to right, but Goldschmidt followed with a double to deep left. Miguel Montero was intentionally walked and Aaron Hill walked on four pitches to load the bases. Eric Chavez then flied out to center, ending the threat for the D-Backs.
Daniel Murphy singled up the middle to start the bottom of the eighth. David Wright followed with a walk, and Curtis Granderson lined out to right, but Murphy advanced to third on the play. Evan Marshall came in and replaced the former Met, lefty reliever Oliver Perez. Marshall walked pinch-hitter outfielder Bobby Abreu but induced a groundball double play from Lucas Duda to end the inning.
Closer Jenrry Mejia entered to pitch the top of the ninth for the Mets. Abreu stayed in the game to play right field and Granderson shifted over to left. A.J. Pollack doubled to deep left to lead off the inning for Arizona. Outfielder Ender Inciarte pinch-hit for Alfredo Marte, and laid down a sacrifice bunt back to Mejia allowing Pollack to take third. Martín Prado pinch-hit for Evan Marshall and struck out swinging. Gerardo Parra was intentionally walked to face Chris Owings. Owings grounded a ball to David Wright who threw to second. Daniel Murphy dropped the ball and everyone was safe. Pollack scored to give Arizona a 2-1 lead. Paul Goldschmidt then popped out to second to retire the side. The Mets went quietly in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches in the second game of the double header for the Mets against rookie Zeke Spruill for Arizona.
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