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Jacob deGrom solid, Mets hit four home runs in win over Diamondbacks

New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom throws in

New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom throws in the first inning during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, June 7, 2015, in Phoenix. Credit: AP / Rick Scuteri

PHOENIX - For the third straight game, a Mets starting pitcher squeezed the life out of one of the National League's most potent offenses.

But only Sunday did the Mets take advantage, hammering four homers in support of righthander Jacob deGrom and beating the Diamondbacks, 6-3, to split the four-game series.

Curtis Granderson led the outburst with a pair of solo shots, including his third leadoff homer of the season.

"You'd love to be able to start the game like that every day, but obviously you can't do that," said Granderson, whose total of 31 leadoff homers ranks fourth among active players. "When you get a chance to do it, hopefully they're going to feed off that. I think they did."

Eric Campbell made up for an early error that led to an unearned run by hitting a two-run homer to restore the Mets' lead in the second inning. Wilmer Flores added a solo shot to help provide plenty of padding for deGrom (7-4, 2.42).

The Diamondbacks' explosive lineup entered play with a National League-leading average of 4.75 runs per game. Mets pitchers Jonathon Niese and Bartolo Colon absorbed tough-luck losses on consecutive nights, but the Mets' timely breakout spared their teammate from the same fate.

DeGrom held the Diamondbacks to three runs (two earned) in seven innings and struck out 10, giving him the sixth double-digit strikeout game of his career.

"After that [first inning], I really had to refocus and start locating a little better," said deGrom, who gave up two runs to turn a 1-0 Mets lead into a 2-1 deficit.

One of the runs came on Campbell's throwing error, but he bounced back with a two-run home run in the second to give the Mets a 3-2 advantage.

Hard-throwing rookie Hansel Robles handled the heart of the Diamondbacks' lineup in the eighth inning before turning the ninth over to closer Jeurys Familia, who slammed the door for his 17th save in 18 tries.

The Mets hit four homers in a game for the second time this season and for the first time since May 27 in a 7-0 victory over the Pirates.

The Mets improved to 20-2 when scoring at least five runs in a game, perhaps an indication of what has been consistently stellar pitching.

"We'll take the split here," said manager Terry Collins, whose team returns to Citi Field Tuesday after a 3-4 road trip.

Most importantly, the Mets (31-27) regained first place in the National League East by a half-game over the Nationals, 6-3 losers to the Cubs on Sunday.

Despite currently having 12 key contributors on the disabled list or suspended, and despite often taking the field with a depleted lineup, the Mets have endured.

The challenge won't get easier, Granderson said, with the Giants coming to town Tuesday.

Still, as June rolls on, the Mets remain in the mix for the division lead.

"I know we've been going back and forth," said Granderson, whose 16th multihomer game was his first since June 8, 2014. "I don't expect this to be it."

New York Sports