DENVER - The Mets had spent their previous three days getting pummeled by the most explosive offense in baseball. But as manager Terry Collins leaned back in his chair Sunday morning, he spoke with a sense of ease.
He called starter Dillon Gee "the consummate pitcher."
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Then he watched the righthander prove it. Gee put on a clinic in the art of deception, beating the Rockies, 5-1, to end the Mets' losing streak at three.
"My goal out there every day is to just eat innings and try to put us in a position to win games," said Gee, who didn't allow a run in six innings-plus, scattering six hits with a walk and five strikeouts. "I was able to do that."
He also was able to mix in the use of his fastball and off-speed pitches, move his pitches all over the strike zone and battle from behind in the count even without his best stuff.
"You feel like you get him on the ropes," David Wright said. "But he still has a couple tricks up his sleeve as far as pitches he can get you out with."
The Rockies had scored 28 runs in the first three games of the series, and Mets starters had allowed 21 earned runs. None had lasted through the fifth until Gee (3-1, 2.51 ERA), who extended his scoreless-innings streak to a career-high 16.
His flashiest moment came not as a pitcher but as a fielder, as he reached behind his back to snag a second-inning comebacker by D.J. LeMahieu.
"You've got to have things like that happen for an outing like this today, really," Gee said. "Against this lineup, I was just able to get them to hit the ball at people and get the outs we really needed to."
When Gee departed after allowing consecutive singles to lead off the seventh, righthander Carlos Torres and lefty Scott Rice combined to strand the runners and preserve a 5-0 lead.
The previous night, the Mets wasted one of their best offensive nights of the season, absorbing a demoralizing 11-10 walk-off loss despite a season-high 17 hits. But they bounced back Sunday, making the most out of another strong day at the plate.
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 7.20) showed some rust in his first start of the season.
He was the Rockies' best pitcher in 2013, going 14-10 with a 3.47 ERA, but he began this season on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain. His return was rough. When the sinkerballer missed up in the strike zone, the Mets pounced, tagging him for four runs, eight hits and five walks in five innings.
Juan Lagares went 3-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Daniel Murphy and Chris Young each had two hits and an RBI.
And in a sign that the middle of the order might be coming to life, Wright, Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda each knocked in a run.
"We've had good at-bats," Wright said. "It's nice to see good results out of those good at-bats."
The Mets (16-14) avoided a four-game sweep and gathered a bit of momentum before Monday night's series opener in Miami. The Marlins (16-15) have the best home record in baseball at 14-5.
Said Collins: "We've got a big task ahead these next three days."