Mets first baseman Pete Alonso looks on after striking out...

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso looks on after striking out swinging during the eighth inning against the Tigers in an MLB game at Citi Field on Monday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

With their rotation in disarray, their offense nonexistent and their record winless, the Mets turned to one of their newest acquisitions for solace Monday night.

And for six innings, Sean Manaea provided just that. He transfixed the Tigers, kept them off the board and was just short of perfect.

And it still wasn’t enough.

The Mets cobbled together only five hits and were hurt by an error by Joey Wendle in the 10th inning that led to five unearned runs as the Tigers won, 5-0, at Citi Field.

The Mets have dropped the first four games of the season for the first time since 2005, when they kicked off the year 0-5. What’s more, their much-heralded defense continues to betray them, as they’ve committed errors in their last three games.

With runners at the corners and one out in the 10th, Colt Keith hit a grounder to second that was booted by Wendle, who was hoping to get the runner at home or go to second for a double play and ended up doing neither. It was scored a fielder’s choice and an error that broke a scoreless tie and put runners at first and second with one out.

“There’s no excuse for that,” Wendle said. “I know we have a lot of really good defenders on this team. I suppose [anyone] can slump, but there’s an expectation on defense to make plays when they come your way, especially the give-me ones. It’s disappointing.”


Gio Urshela then hit an infield single off the glove of reliever Michael Tonkin to load the bases for Javier Baez, who lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Carson Kelly then blasted Tonkin’s knee-high sinker 393 feet to left for a three-run homer.

It took just a few minutes to waste nine innings of dominant pitching — the first six by Manaea in his Mets debut.

The lefty was perfect through four innings before walking Riley Greene on five pitches to lead off the fifth. He lost the no-hitter in the sixth. Kelly drew a one-out walk, and with two outs and Kelly on second, Andy Ibanez laced a clean single to left. Kelly was thrown out at the plate on a laser from Brandon Nimmo to keep the game scoreless.

Manaea, whose fastball averaged 91.3 mph in 2022, hit a high of 95.5 and an average of 93.6 mph on Monday night. He coaxed 13 swings-and-misses, seven on the fastball, while mixing in his changeup, cutter and a sweeper. It was the longest no-hit bid by a pitcher making his Mets debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Jorge Lopez, Brooks Raley and Edwin Diaz combined for three scoreless innings, allowing one hit.

The Mets, however, didn’t record a hit in 18 plate appearances with a runner on base. They were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

“I just feel like we just haven’t found our footing,” said Francisco Lindor, who is 1-for-16. “Everybody shows up early, we have batting practice, we study, we’re well-prepared . . . So it’s one of those where it comes down to execution, because we are extremely prepared.”

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