PHOENIX — Slowly, the Mets began to drain what should have been a comfortable lead Friday night.
There was Chasen Shreve who allowed a run in the seventh and Trevor May who allowed a two-run blast in the eighth. But after Edwin Diaz recorded two outs so easily to start the ninth, the Mets appeared safe.
Except Diaz left a slider on the plate and Daulton Varsho bludgeoned the ball over the right field fence. Tie score. Backup blown. More questions about the Mets bullpen.
Starling Marte’s speed let everyone off the hook. The Mets outfielder hit a two-out single in the field in the 10th inning that allowed ghost runner Jeff McNeil to score the go-ahead in a 6-5 win over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Marte was initially called to first base by umpire Will Little, but the Mets challenged and the play was called off. McNeil had advanced to third on the field from James McCann to second in the lead of the inning.
Seth Lugo got the final three outs, allowing the Mets to escape with a victory that looked like it was in hand after McCann’s two-run homer in the seventh extended the lead to 5-1.
Shreve allowed one run on two hits late in the inning and Christian Walker’s two-run homer in the eighth against May was a warning shot the Mets could need more than five runs. Diaz’s failed save was his first of the season.
The Mets (11-4) started the night with a 2.10 ERA from their starting pitchers. David Peterson, replacing injured Taijuan Walker for a second consecutive start, lowered that number to 2.07.
After throwing four white frames against the relief Phillies on April 11, Peterson allowed just one run over 10 innings in two straight starts against the Diamondbacks, showing what led to a notable rookie season in 2020. last season, Peterson struggled early and then hit the injured list in June, never to return, first with an oblique sprain and then with a broken foot.
He was ejected that night after allowing one run on three hits and one walk in 5 ²/₃ innings.
“I’m still working on some tweaks in addition to shortened spring training, running out of time in spring training, so I think there’s been a bit of a catch-up period,” McCann said before the game.
Brandon Nimmo’s second homebase hit in three innings, just one after the third base leading to the sixth, led the Mets to break a 1-1 tie. Nimmo ran in third place, just beating the left field pitch on Marte’s single against Oliver Perez, and scored on Francisco Lindor’s sacrifice fly. Pete Alonso’s RBI gave the Mets a 3-1 lead.
The Mets tied it 1-1 in the fourth with two well-placed hits against the shift. Nimmo started the inning with a double to the left, after the Diamondbacks, with two strikes, moved the third baseman to the right side. The follow-up batter, Marte, worked a full walk on Zac Gallen and Lindor’s defenseman pick left the runners on the corners with one out. Alonso’s pop up right landed perfectly in uninhabited territory for an RBI single. Gallen bounced back to take out Eduardo Escobar before Robinson Cano struck, waving two straight balls to close the inning.
Peterson covered first base late in the third inning, which led to the Diamondbacks scoring the game’s first run. Pavin Smith doubled the right field fence to start the inning. Jose Herrera’s one-out bouncer on the right side drew Alonso away from first base, and McNeil had to wait for Peterson before he could throw. The infield single put the runners in the corners and Cooper Hummel’s takedown brought the run on.
Smith chased Arizona out of the fifth inning by blasting off from first base on Varsho’s volley to the left with one out. Smith, who had walked, was on his way to third base as the ball returned to the infield.
Gallen struck out seven and allowed two hits in five innings. Last weekend, he limited the Mets to two hits in four shutout innings.
Peterson narrowly missed his attempt to complete six innings. With two outs in the sixth, Ketel Marte hit a bloop to the center that Nimmo nearly caught on a dive. Marte’s brace prompted Mets manager Buck Showalter to call in Drew Smith, who escaped the inning by retiring Walker after walking Matt Davidson.
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