Duda's four hits, Wheeler's solid start carry Mets
Slugger drives in two as righty goes 6 1/3 innings; Grandy, Lagares hurt
PHOENIX -- On a night when the Mets lost two outfielders to injury, Lucas Duda and Zack Wheeler did all they could to ensure it wouldn't matter.
Wheeler delivered a quality start and Duda rapped out four hits Monday for the Mets, who escaped with a 7-3 win over the D-backs despite losing Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares to injuries.
Settling into a groove after giving up stray runs in the first and third innings, Wheeler more or less silenced Arizona's offense from there. Using an old-fashioned overhead windup for the first time this season, Wheeler's only late trouble came in the seventh, when the D-backs put two men on base with one out to chase him.
That brought on reliever Carlos Torres, who coaxed a groundout and a flyout to quell the threat. Shortly thereafter, the Mets expanded their three-run lead to five on Daniel Murphy's sacrifice fly and David Wright's RBI single, cruising to victory from there.
"I would have liked to have finished the seventh, but my pitch count started getting up there and I walked that guy, so it's understandable," Wheeler said. "I did have the three walks, which was kind of a disappointment. But I got faster outs and I kept my pitch count down for the most part. It did sneak up there. I would have liked to have gotten through the seventh."
"This game is about feeling good about yourself every once in a while, and he should feel good about himself tonight," manager Terry Collins said, explaining his hook after 97 pitches. "He pitched a nice ballgame. I wasn't going to let him get himself buried to where you start feeling bad. Our bullpen, Carlos has been pitching great, so I thought it was the time."
In an effort to give the bullpen some much-needed rest, Torres wound up pitching the remainder of the game for his first career save.
All of New York's early damage came off Josh Collmenter, who was on a limited pitch count in his first start of the season. And much of it came thanks to Duda, who singled and scored in the second inning before singling home runs in the third and fifth. Duda later singled again in the seventh to complete his 4-for-5 night.
"I just kind of got lucky," Duda said.
Unlike over the weekend in Anaheim, where the Mets leaned on the bottom of their order for offense, Monday's effort -- which tied their season high of seven runs -- came from all angles. Murphy, Wright, Granderson, Duda and Ruben Tejada all drove in runs for the Mets, while five different players crossed home plate.
Contrast that to the D-backs, who received all three of their RBIs from catcher Miguel Montero.
"We just couldn't get the rest of the offense going," manager Kirk Gibson said. "They pitched us pretty decent. That Wheeler has a good arm. Torres came in and threw pretty good as well. They held us down."
But not everything was ideal in the visiting dugout. Five innings after crashing into the right-field wall in an attempt to catch Montero's RBI double in the first, Granderson left the game. X-rays taken on his left rib cage, left forearm and left knee all came back negative. Minutes later, Lagares came up lame at first base with a strained right hamstring.
That forced the Mets to shift Duda to left field for the first time since last June, and to contemplate placing Lagares on the disabled list.
Answers, for the Mets, will come Tuesday, once they determine the full severity of their injuries. In the interim, they were at least happy to escape with the win, bringing them one victory away from a winning nine-game road trip through Atlanta, Anaheim and Phoenix.
"We do a nice job on the road," Wheeler said. "We'd like to keep that up and take it into our homestand."