Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Diamondbacks 2

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
6:27
PM ET
PHOENIX -- Dillon Gee retired the first 14 batters he faced and the Mets are now above .500 for the first time this season.

Gee tossed seven scoreless innings and Anthony Recker homered and doubled as the Mets swept the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 5-2 win Wednesday at Chase Field.

After winning six of nine games on a trip to the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels and Diamondbacks, the Mets improved to 8-7 this season. They outscored Arizona 21-5 in the series.

It marked the Mets’ first sweep in Phoenix since a four-game series in 2006, when Carlos Beltran went 9-for-17 with 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored.

The reeling D-backs have lost six straight and dropped to an MLB-worst 4-14 this season.

The Mets carried a shutout bid into the ninth, in which Jose Valverde surrendered consecutive homers to Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt to open the inning, snapping a streak of 18 straight scoreless innings by Mets pitchers.

Gee did not allow a baserunner until Martin Prado’s two-out double in the fifth.

He allowed only two other hits.

One came when Gerardo Parra dropped a single in front of center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis with two outs in the sixth. Despite the D-backs trailing 3-0, Parra aggressively tried for a double with second base seemingly uncovered. However, Nieuwenhuis recovered the baseball and delivered it to Ruben Tejada, who in turn threw to Gee manning second, where he applied the tag.

The final hit against Gee came on a one-out double off the center-field wall by Goldschmidt in the seventh.

Gee managed to escape that inning unscathed. The next batter, Miguel Montero, sent a shot to the right-field wall, where Andrew Brown (2-for-5) made a stellar leaping catch. After a visit from pitching coach Dan Warthen, Gee then stranded Goldschmidt in scoring position with a Mark Trumbo groundout to complete his outing.

Gee’s line: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. He threw 72 pitches (48 strikes).

This season, Gee has allowed a .375 opponent batting average from his 76th pitch onward, and Terry Collins undoubtedly sensed him fading with the D-backs squaring up balls in the seventh.

Gee tossed the fewest pitches by a Mets starter in a performance of at least seven innings since Robert Person on June 13, 1996 (7 IP, 70 pitches against St. Louis).

In the eighth, Kyle Farnsworth entered and allowed a pair of baserunners, but he got a big strikeout call on a two-seam fastball with the count full against Eric Chavez for the second out. Scott Rice then entered and retired Parra to strand two inherited D-backs.

Valverde, pitching for the first time since surrendering a game-tying, three-run homer with two outs in the ninth to the Angels’ Raul Ibanez on Saturday, had plenty of wiggle room after the Mets scored two runs in the top of the ninth to open a 5-0 lead. He needed it. With the two long balls surrendered by Valverde, Mets pitchers have now allowed an MLB-high 22 homers. The D-backs are second with 21.

Recker, in only his third start this season as the backup to Travis d’Arnaud, belted his second homer. The second-inning shot against Brandon McCarthy opened the scoring.

The Mets opened a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Ike Davis walked, Brown doubled and Nieuwenhuis produced a sacrifice fly. The Mets’ third run came in the sixth, when Brown singled, Recker doubled and Gee had an RBI groundout after an intentional walk to Tejada.

The Mets tacked on ninth-inning runs on RBI singles by Daniel Murphy and David Wright in a frame that also included two Arizona errors.

Welcome back: Curtis Granderson grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth. It marked his first game action since bruising his left wrist, rib cage and knee in a collision with the outfield wall Monday. He is expected to return to the starting lineup Friday.

What’s next: The Mets try to duplicate their road success at Citi Field, at which they are 2-4 this season and 105-144 in four seasons under general manager Sandy Alderson.

After an off day, Jonathon Niese (0-1, 3.46 ERA) opposes Atlanta Braves right-hander Aaron Harang (2-1, 0.96) on Friday at 7:10 p.m.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187