NEW YORK -- They may have needed an extra hour or so to do it, but the D-backs successfully waited out a Mets offense that continued to struggle on Wednesday, ultimately coming away with a 3-2 win in 12 innings at Citi Field.Óscar Hernández led off the 12th with a
NEW YORK -- They may have needed an extra hour or so to do it, but the D-backs successfully waited out a Mets offense that continued to struggle on Wednesday, ultimately coming away with a 3-2 win in 12 innings at Citi Field.
Óscar Hernández led off the 12th with a homer -- the first of his Major League career -- against Jerry Blevins, the fifth pitcher out of New York's bullpen. And the Mets, who struggled offensively against everyone other than D-backs closer Jake Barrett, could not mount a second comeback.
It was Kelly Johnson's two-run homer off Barrett that undid the early efforts of Robbie Ray, who came into the night with a 7.02 ERA over his previous three starts but still blanked the Mets over seven innings.
"It was a good win, the guys kept battling," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "You could easily fold the tent after the home run by Johnson in the ninth, but they kept battling. Oscar got a ball there up in the air and down the line. It was beautiful, I'm very proud of him."
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Though the D-backs didn't achieve much more against Mets starter Bartolo Colon, they did enough to take a lead into the ninth. After Paul Goldschmidt singled home Arizona's only run off Colon in the third inning, the D-backs doubled their margin on Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly in the eighth. Jean Segura reached base in each of his first four plate appearances atop the lineup, with three hits and a walk.
The result was a disappointing one for a Mets team that received a late, game-changing homer for the second straight night, but lost both games regardless.
"I thought that would be a game that we would win and carry some momentum," Johnson said. "It's unfortunate. We have to find a way to get something done eventually."
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Johnson's big homer: Desperate for offense, the Mets turned to their bench in the ninth inning. After Alejandro De Aza drew a pinch-hit walk, Johnson launched his pinch-hit homer a projected 431.4 feet into the second deck in right field, according to Statcast™. It came off his bat at 109 mph.
"The way I was feeling tonight, yeah," Johnson said, when asked if he was swinging for the fences. "With a guy throwing a lot of fastballs, and getting into a hitter's count there, it was a good opportunity to try and get under one. I was lucky to square it up and put us in the game."
Stealing a run: The D-backs have been aggressive on the bases in this series, swiping nine bags in two days. None was more important than Segura's steal on Michael Bourn's strikeout in the third inning. Segura moved to third when catcher Travis d'Arnaud's throw sailed into center and came home on Goldschmidt's two-out single.
"We knew they were an aggressive-running team coming in," d'Arnaud said. "They're doing exactly what we talked about."
Feeling run down: The Mets avoided giving up an early run when they caught Segura in a bizarre 1-3-6-5 rundown in the first inning. It was actually Bourn that Colon caught in the rundown, but the Mets botched the play and allowed Bourn to coast into second. As that unfolded, Segura ventured off third base in what technically would have been a steal of home. The Mets turned their attention to him, cutting Segura down in a rundown.
Ray of hope: It will get lost in the shuffle of the long game and the homer by Hernandez, but Ray's outing was a huge step forward for him. The lefty has always had the stuff to be successful, but he had trouble pitching deep into games because his pitch count tended to rise quickly.
"That's what I've been trying to do all year -- limit the walks and get guys out early," said Ray, who did not walk a batter while fanning four in seven innings. "My fastball command was really good today and my breaking stuff was really good too."
"I hope they don't think it's just going to happen. You have to make things happen in this league. The talent is too good here. You have to go out and you've got to earn it. You're not given anything here." -- Mets manager Terry Collins, on the Mets' playoff hopes
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The D-backs remain the only big league team that Colon has not beaten. He'll get another crack at them next week in Arizona, looking to become the 18th pitcher to defeat all 30 clubs.
SAVE THAT BALL
Called up before the game for a jolt of offense, Mets infielder T.J. Rivera recorded his first career hit on a sinking line-drive single in the 10th. Rivera, who signed with the Mets as an undrafted free agent, is a native of the Bronx.
"After I got my first hit it kind of felt like, OK, a lot of weight comes off," Rivera said. "But the whole game I really felt like I still had to smack myself. Like, I'm here. I'm actually here." More >
D-backs: Braden Shipley will make his fourth big league start Thursday as the D-backs wrap up a three-game series with the Mets at 9:10 a.m. MST at Citi Field. Shipley allowed two runs over six innings of work in his last start against the Brewers at Chase Field.
Mets:Noah Syndergaard will look to solve his efficiency problems when the Mets and D-backs return to Citi Field on Thursday for a 12:10 p.m. ET matinee. Though Syndergaard has thrown at least 112 pitches in each of his last three outings, he hasn't pitched into the seventh inning in any of them. He's 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA over that stretch.
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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.