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Rotation falters again for D-backs in loss to Mets

Arroyo allows nine runs as Arizona loses fifth straight game

PHOENIX -- The struggles of the D-backs' starting rotation continued Tuesday night.

And as a result, the D-backs were unable to break out of their season-long funk, falling, 9-0, to the Mets at Chase Field on Jackie Robinson Day.

The loss was the fifth in a row for the D-backs, who fell to 1-10 at home this year and 4-13 overall.

"It's frustrating," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "But only we can get ourselves out of it."

One thing that would help is if the starting rotation would come up with a quality start, something they've only done twice in 17 games.

"These are the best guys we've got going right now," Gibson said of his rotation. "They've got to buck up and they've got to find a way within themselves to pitch the way they're capable of pitching."

The D-backs entered the game with the worst rotation ERA in the Majors (7.16), and it did not take long for the Mets to jump on starter Bronson Arroyo.

The first three batters of the game singled, and before the D-backs got to bat, the Mets were already up 3-0.

"Four hits in the first inning and quickly it was 3-0, which was exactly what we couldn't have on this ballclub right now," Arroyo said. "It just kills the morale of a team when you're losing constantly, and especially when you're giving up runs a lot and then you just go down a three-spot early on. It just grew from there."

It sure did.

Though Arroyo (1-1) seemed to settle in as he retired the Mets in order in the second and third innings, the wheels came off for him in the fourth.

"I just couldn't put guys away in that fourth inning," Arroyo said.

The Mets sent 11 men to the plate in the inning, scoring six runs on six hits and chasing Arroyo to the showers as New York went up 9-0.

"Terrible timing," Arroyo said of his bad outing. "I mean this ballclub needs a quality start from somebody bad and you always hope to be the guy to do that, but it didn't happen today."

Arroyo was charged with all nine runs on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

"We know he pounds the strike zone," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The one thing we didn't want to do was fall behind and let him work us to death with all his offspeed stuff. So [hitting coach] Dave [Hudgens] just said, 'Look, we've got to go out and be aggressive.' And certainly we got some good balls to hit. He's usually on the corners all night long. It was a good night for us offensively, for sure."

Not so for the D-backs.

Mets starter Jenrry Mejia (2-0) had little trouble working his way through the D-backs' lineup. The right-hander held the D-backs hitless through the first three innings, and the only thing that forced him from the mound after five innings was a blister on his middle finger.

"He had a 94 mph cutter that was pretty filthy and he was locating it pretty well on the outside corner," D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock said. "I took a couple of swings and felt like I was right on it, but that much movement that late is pretty tough. So it seemed like he had good command of his fastball and that's what made it really hard."

Gonzalez Germen came on in relief of Mejia and he too made quick work of the D-backs as he went three scoreless innings. Kyle Farnsworth finished things off for the Mets with a perfect ninth.

The lone plus for the D-backs was the performance of the bullpen, which tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

"Bullpen was great," Gibson said. "Did a heck of a job."

Of course that the bullpen had to cover so many innings once again is a concern for the D-backs long term as they could easily find themselves worn down quickly.

"It's really hard on them and it's going to be hard for them to continue to perform," Gibson said, referring to the heavy bullpen workload.

The D-backs will try to avoid a sweep in the series Wednesday afternoon with Brandon McCarthy on the mound.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
Read More: Arizona Diamondbacks, Bronson Arroyo