The Mets raced out of the gate, looking like the team to beat in the NL East with 11 wins in the first 12 games, including nine straight through April 13. Then they were the team to beat up on, dropping 18 of the next 27.
They couldn’t claim consecutive games even one time during that stretch. And now the struggling yet NL West-leading Diamondbacks were coming to Citi Field.
But the Mets won the first one Friday night. They won the second one Saturday night. And they swept Arizona right out of the park Sunday with a 4-1 win.
Noah Syndergaard turned in a quality outing to keep them in the neighborhood. Then Asdrubal Cabrera and Amed Rosario sent the Mets on their way to back-to-back-to-back victories with back-to-back homers in the seventh — Rosario’s second of the game.
So they will take their three-game winning streak into a three-game series against the last-place Marlins that starts at Citi Field Monday night.
“That was a huge sweep,” Syndergaard said. “We’ve kind of been struggling a little bit. But just as easily as we were struggling, it’s that easy to turn it around. We’re going to take this momentum into the series against the Marlins.”
This was the first series sweep by the Mets (23-19) since they won three straight at Miami April 9-11. It was also their first home sweep of at least three games since they took three in a row against Minnesota in September of 2016. And it was their first sweep of the Diamondbacks since a three-game series in Queens in July of 2015.
“It was a tough series,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said after the team’s fourth straight loss and 10th in 11 games. “We’re struggling. There’s no doubt about it. But this group is staying together.”
It was a 1-1 game with two outs in the seventh when Tomas Nido singled off reliever Jorge De La Rosa (0-2). Cabrera pinch hit for Syndergaard and hit a two-run shot over the left-center wall.
Rosario was next. He arrived for the game with no homers. But the 22-year-old shortstop rocketed the next pitch to left-center for homer No. 2 in two innings and the 4-1 lead.
“For me, it’s amazing,” Rosario said. “It’s my first time hitting two homers.”
Syndergaard (4-1) has been searching for his dominant form. But he did fine after throwing 103 pitches in five innings in his previous start when he beat Toronto Tuesday.
This time, he threw 102 pitches over seven innings, 70 of them for strikes. He allowed one run, six hits and one walk and struck out seven.
“I just focused on making quality pitches instead of focusing on my mechanics,” Syndergaard said. “I was trying to keep the hitters off-balance, trying not to get too fastball happy.”
Robert Gsellman saved it for Syndergaard — his first career save — by working 1 2/3 innings, giving the bullpen nine scoreless innings in the sweep.
Arizona (25-21) had nicked Syndergaard in the second for its run. Jarrod Dyson singled, moved to third on a Nick Ahmed single and scored on a groundout by Jeff Mathis.
The Diamondbacks almost got to Syndergaard again in the fifth, but Jay Bruce cut down a runner at the plate.
Clay Buchholz allowed the Mets just one hit through five in his first major-league start of the season. But Rosario opened the sixth with a homer to left-center to tie it at 1-1 and end the ex-Red Sox pitcher’s outing.
“It was big hits,” manager Mickey Callaway said, explaining the sweep. “ . . . Those are the things that we were missing.”