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Rapid Reaction: D'Backs 4, Mets 3

WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets are 3-9 in their last 12 games after falling 4-3 to the Diamondbacks, who are first in the NL West and have won four in a row.

The Mets cut the lead to one in the ninth after Scott Hairston doubled, advanced on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly. But David Wright grounded out to end the game.

The Mets failed to score after loading the bases with one out in the fourth. Ruben Tejada struck out swinging and Dillon Gee struck out looking after Lucas Duda was hit by a pitch, Jason Bay singled and Jason Pridie drew a walk.

The Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton smacked a two-out, solo home run, his 24th of the year, off Gee in the first.

Even Arizona ace Ian Kennedy participated in the offensive splurge in the three-run second. He hit his first double of the season, driving in a run for a 4-0 lead.

The Mets ended the shutout on Bay’s RBI single in the fifth. They added a run in the eighth when Bay doubled, advanced on a line out and scored on a ground out.

Kennedy improved to 15-3 by limiting the Mets to one run in seven innings. He struck out five and walked three.

BACK AGAIN: Leadoff batter Angel Pagan returned to the lineup after exiting Wednesday’s game with back spasms and sitting out Thursday. He hit a two-out single in the third for the Mets’ first hit. He also singled and scored on Bay’s hit in the fifth.

Also back was reliever Manny Acosta, who lost part of the fingernail of his right pinkie when a comebacker hit him Tuesday. He entered with two outs in the eighth and got Chris Young to fly out.

NO GEE GLEE: In his first loss since July 7, Gee’s night was over when pinch hitter Mike Baxter replaced him in the sixth with a runner on first. Gee allowed four runs and five hits, struck out three and walked one in five innings. He threw 72 pitches.

Gee has hit 12 batters, tops in the NL. The Diamondbacks’ Xavier Nady suffered a broken left hand when he was hit by a pitch by Gee in the second.

ODD MOMENT: In the ninth, Hairston hit a foul ball that bounced off the Chase Field rafters and fell back onto the infield near third base. He later doubled.

WHAT’S NEXT: Mike Pelfrey (6-9, 4.53 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets, while right-hander Daniel Hudson (11-8, 3.83 ERA) starts for the Diamondbacks at 8:10 p.m. ET Saturday in the second game of the series.