D-backs rally, pile on late to even series
PHOENIX -- The D-backs rallied for six unanswered runs to beat the Mets, 7-2, on Friday night at Chase Field and even the four-game series at one apiece.
The Mets built a 2-1 lead behind a strong start from lefty Jonathon Niese (3-6) thanks to a solo homer by Michael Cuddyer in the second and an RBI single by Eric Campbell in the fourth.
Jeremy Hellickson (4-3) won his third straight start. The right-hander allowed a pair of runs on six hits over six innings.
"He did a good job," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Hellickson. "Threw a lot of pitches but was able to get us through six, which is huge for us right now. And actually the sixth inning was probably his best. He did a nice job of battling and keeping us in the game and giving us a chance to win."
Hellickson was backed by a third-inning RBI single from A.J. Pollock, who went 3-for-4, and RBIs by Paul Goldschmidt and Yasmany Tomas in the sixth. The D-backs tacked on four insurance runs in the eighth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pitching to Goldschmidt: With one out, a runner on second and Goldschmidt up, Mets manager Terry Collins faced a decision: Walk Goldschmidt, the D-backs best hitter, thereby putting the go-ahead run on base, or pitch to him. Collins chose to pitch to Goldschmidt, who leads the National League in intentional walks, and Goldschmidt made him pay with an RBI single to tie the game.
Double-digit streak: Cuddyer wasted little time in extending his hitting streak to 10 games, homering off Hellickson to lead off the second. Cuddyer, who has three doubles and three home runs over the life of his streak, is one of the Mets' most important hitters now that Opening Day starters David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Travis d'Arnaud are all on the disabled list. More >
Nice grab: Tomas got his first start of the season in right field and he made it look easy in the fourth when he ran to his left and reached up to snare a line drive off the bat of Anthony Recker. There were runners on first and second at the time and had the ball gotten by Tomas, two runs easily could have scored.
"It was huge because I know when it was hit, from our angle, I had a decent angle and thought he was gonna catch it," Hale said. "And [outfield coach] Dave McKay was like, 'You got to go, got to go.' He was sitting right next to me and I said, 'He's gonna get it.'"
Pitching with a purpose: With his job at least somewhat in danger, Niese responded by retiring eight straight batters from the third through sixth innings, showcasing a consistent low-90s fastball. He caved for two runs in the sixth but finished with a quality start -- his first in his last five tries. Niese's eight strikeouts marked his highest single-game total in 51 weeks.
"Jon had really good stuff tonight," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He worked both sides of the plate much more effectively. He used his changeup much more effectively. He threw some breaking balls. I thought he threw the ball well. We just couldn't get him any runs to work with."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When third baseman Eric Campbell singled home the Mets' second run in the fourth inning, he snapped an 0-for-28 stretch at the plate. Rey Ordonez holds the franchise record for consecutive hitless at-bats by a position player with 37 in 1997.
RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY
Pitchers from both sides had a surprise when rainwater began leaking from Chase Field's roof during the game, creating what Niese called "a big puddle on the mound."
"You just had to forget about it," Niese said. "I knew it was there because it was right in front of me. I'm looking at the signs and water's dripping right in front of me. If I noticed it, I'm sure the hitters were noticing it."
Mets: One Mets pitcher with a secure rotation spot is Bartolo Colon, despite the 42-year-old's 7.31 ERA over his last our starts. Colon has begun to pitch slightly better in the last two of those outings, and will look to continue that trend in a 10:10 p.m. ET game Saturday night against the D-backs.
D-backs: Chase Anderson gets the start for the D-backs at 7:10 p.m. MST Saturday night. Anderson had a rare bad start his last time out as he allowed six runs in just five innings of work. This will be his first career start against the Mets.
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