WHAT IT MEANS: After producing 52 runs during a four-game winning streak, a franchise scoring record for four consecutive games, Justin Verlander cooled off the Amazin’s offense. The Mets nonetheless completed a trip to AL division leaders Texas and Detroit with a 4-2 record.
At the midway point of their season, the Mets are a game over .500, at 41-40.
Verlander, who allowed one run in seven innings in a 120-pitch effort, has won seven straight starts and is unbeaten in his past 11. Daniel Murphy accounted for the lone Mets run against the ace, on a homer on a 96 mph fastball to open the second inning. Carlos Beltran added a solo homer in the eighth off Joaquin Benoit.
WILD SIDE: Mike Pelfrey lasted only 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since April 29 at Philadelphia. He was charged with five runs (four earned) on eight hits and five walks while striking out three in a 109-pitch effort. The walk total matched Pelfrey’s career high. Center fielder Angel Pagan’s third-inning throwing error returning the ball to the infield allowed the unearned run to score.
JO-SE, JO-SE: Jose Reyes reached base in all three plate appearances against Verlander -- on a double, walk and single. However, Reyes twice was erased on the basepaths. He was doubled off second base in the first inning on Jason Pridie’s lineout. Two innings later, Reyes was caught stealing for only the sixth time in 36 chances this season. Reyes went 14-for-27 with three walks and nine runs scored during the six-game trip.
The Mets actually had three outs on the basepaths Thursday afternoon. Lucas Duda looked like he had time to comfortably tag and score on Josh Thole’s would-be sacrifice fly to left field in the seventh inning. However, catcher Alex Avila appeared to block the plate with his left leg and Duda was ruled out on the one-hop throw from Brennan Boesch. Terry Collins argued, but the score remained 5-1.
IN A PINCH: Fernando Martinez, on the roster while Willie Harris is on bereavement leave, pinch-hit in the ninth and struck out for the game's final out.
K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez was not scheduled to appear, but Manny Acosta was forced to leave the game in the eighth inning with an apparent hand injury after spinning and tumbling to the ground while making a fielding play. K-Rod now has 30 games finished. With the Mets exactly halfway through their schedule, K-Rod is on pace for 60 games finished, five more than the threshold for his contract to kick in at $17.5 million for 2012.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets return to Citi Field for the Subway Series -- their lone remaining home games before the All-Star break. Jon Niese (7-6, 3.67) opposes right-hander Ivan Nova (7-4, 4.26) in the series opener, followed by Dillon Gee (8-1, 3.32) against right-hander Bartolo Colon (5-3, 3.10) on Saturday and R.A. Dickey (4-7, 3.77) against right-hander Freddy Garcia (7-6, 3.28) on Sunday.