A fresh start after the All-Star break is what the Mets needed after beginning July with a 2-5 record. A dominant start is what Jacob deGrom gave them Friday night.
DeGrom struck out 11 in eight innings, allowing one earned run, four hits and a walk, in a 14-2 win over the Rockies in front of 27,582 at Citi Field. He recorded 14 straight outs after Gerardo Parra’s RBI single in the first.
“When you need them, they rise up,” Terry Collins said of aces. “They’re there when you need them most. They keep you from losing streaks because when it’s their turn and you’ve lost three or four in a row, they step up and they shut the other team down.”
DeGrom (10-3) appeared shaky in the first, allowing an unearned run after his own throwing error, but he settled down as the Mets opened the second half on a positive note.
The offense showed no signs of rust after a four-day layoff, scoring two runs in the second before sending 11 batters to the plate and adding six runs in the third. They had 19 hits in the game.
A hustle double to rightfield by Yoenis Cespedes and a single by Jay Bruce set up a two-run double by T.J. Rivera that gave the Mets a 4-1 lead with none out in the third.
After Lucas Duda walked, Jose Reyes singled home Rivera. Jon Gray then walked Travis d’Arnaud, prompting Rockies manager Bud Black to pull him. The Mets scored three more runs in the inning, two on a single by Asdrubal Cabre ra.
Rivera hit a solo homer in the fourth and Michael Conforto added a three-run shot in the seventh.
“Pitching with a lead is nice,” deGrom said, “but like I’ve said before, I just try to go out there and put up zeros no matter what the score is.”
He allowed three hits and one unearned run in the first inning, with the error coming on his errant throw to first as he attempted to retire Nolan Arenado. That allowed DJ LeMahieu to reach third, and Parra drove him in.
Cespedes went 4-for-6, including two hits in the third. He denied the Rockies a run in the sixth, throwing LeMahieu out at home as he attempted to tag on a fly to medium leftfield. He initially was ruled safe, but a replay spanning 1 minute, 20 seconds reversed the call.
Notes & quotes: Speaking before the game, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson provided several injury updates. Josh Smoker will throw his second consecutive rehab game Saturday night and is expected back in three or four days. Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey are “close” to being cleared for throwing programs. Neil Walk er still is a week to 10 days away, but he will ramp up his running and return to New York on Sunday. Robert Gsellman is making “good progress” and Jeurys Familia has begun a throwing program.
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