After two so-so starts, Rafael Montero showed Sunday why he is a super-prospect. Pitching game one of a doubleheader against the Diamondbacks, Montero was superb. Of course the Mets putrid offense left Montero with a no-decision and an error left the Mets with a loss.
Chris Owings gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the first with a solo home run.
The Mets jumped all over Bronson Arroyo in the bottom of the inning. Three straight singles by Juan Lagares, Daniel Murphy and David Wright produced a run to tie the game. But then the Mets let Arroyo off the hook. Curtis Granderson struck out, Chris Young fouled out to the catcher on the first pitch he saw and Lucas Duda grounded out on his first pitch. Well, grounded out is being generous — the ball dribbled a few feet from home plate.
The Mets squandered another opportunity in the second. Ruben Tejada led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. Juan Centeno singled. But Montero’s bunt attempt was too close to the plate and Tejada was forced out at third. Lagares grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Mets got runners to first and second with one out in the third, but Chris Young grounded into a double play.
Once again Chris Young came to bat with runners on first and second, this time with no outs in the sixth. He grounded into another double play. Duda flied out to end the inning.
Montero pitched extremely well, allowing just two hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out 10, throwing 113 pitches. He lowered his ERA from 6.97 to 4.96.
With two outs in the eighth the Diamondbacks loaded the bases against Jose Valverde, but he was able to get Eric Chavez to fly out to end the inning and keep the game tied.
Old pal Oliver Perez was on the mound in the bottom of the eighth for his second inning of work. Murphy led off with a single and Wright walked. Granderson lined out to right, advancing Murphy to third. That was all for Perez. Chris Young was not given a chance to redeem himself for his earlier failures — Bobby Abreu came in to pinch hit. He walked to load the bases. It was up to Duda and shock of shocks, he grounded into a double play to end the inning, their fifth double play of the game.
A.J. Pollack led off the top of the ninth with a double off of Jenrry Mejia. He was sacrificed to third. Mejia struck out Martin Prado for the second out. Gerardo Parra was intentionally walked to load the bases to face Owings, the guy who homered in the first inning. He hit a tough grounder to Wright. He made the play but Murphy could not handle the throw for the force at second. Pollack scored on the error to give the Diamondbacks the lead, 2-1. Goldschmidt popped up to end the inning.
With one out Centeno and pinch hitter Wilmer Flores both singled. Recker pinch ran for Centeno. Lagares struck out. So it was up to Murphy, who had a chance to make up for his error. He flied out to short left to end the game.
Mets lose 2-1.