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Travis d'Arnaud hits first homer, but Mets are swept by Tigers

Travis d'Arnaud (15) looks on in the dugout

Travis d'Arnaud (15) looks on in the dugout in the bottom of the fourth inning after hitting his first-career home run against the Detroit Tigers. (Aug. 25, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Travis d'Arnaud wishes his first major-league home run had come in a Mets' victory.

The rookie catcher's two-run shot in the fourth inning Sunday did give the Mets a brief lead over the Tigers. But Andy Dirks hit a two-run home run off Dillon Gee in the sixth and the Tigers added a seven-run ninth for an 11-3 win and a series sweep at Citi Field.

"Speechless," d'Arnaud said. "Unbelievable feeling. But we got the loss, so . . . bittersweet."

D'Arnaud had been 1-for-16 since getting called up on Aug. 16 when he crushed a 1-and-0 pitch from Rick Porcello into the party deck in left-centerfield to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.

With some prodding from his teammates, d'Arnaud took a curtain call, raising his batting helmet in thanks to the crowd of 32,084.

"I didn't know what was going on," d'Arnaud said. "It was an unbelievable experience, though."

Said manager Terry Collins said: "He's a great kid and we're all excited that he's here. We're all excited that he hit the homer. But we didn't win, so . . . "

They didn't win because Gee (9-9) was unable to hold the lead for long. Dirks hit his eighth homer of the season to right-center to put Detroit back on top two innings later. Miguel Cabrera also homered for the Tigers, a two-run blast into the second deck in left in the first inning.

Cabrera (3-for-4, walk) is batting .360 with 42 homers and 128 RBIs. He went 7-for-13 (.538) with two homers and five RBIs in the series.

In the last two weeks, the Mets have found out what happens when they step up in weight class. They were swept by the Dodgers in Los Angeles and again this weekend. Overall, the Mets have lost four in a row after finishing what Collins called "an ugly series."

"It was one of those games where you caught them at the wrong time," Collins said. "We went into Los Angeles and caught them at the wrong time."

It was a 4-3 game until the ninth, when the Tigers scored seven times on seven singles, a walk, two wild pitches and a sacrifice fly against LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison. With one out, eight consecutive men reached base before Austin Jackson hit a sacrifice fly for the final run and second out.

Gee allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings. Hawkins was charged with five runs in one-third of an inning. His ERA went from 2.88 to 3.65.

"Their lineup is such that you've got to make pitches, you've got to keep the ball down," Collins said. "When you see that many line drives, that's telling you the ball's not down."

Porcello (10-7) allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings. The Mets had only four runs and 17 hits in the series, one fewer hit than the Tigers had Sunday.

Detroit, after 18 hits Sunday and 15 on Saturday, totaled 41 in the series -- the most the Mets ever have allowed in a three-game home series that did not include extra innings. It was the first time the Mets have given up at least 15 hits in consecutive games since July 4-5, 1993, against the Giants and Padres.

D'Arnaud's first hit as a major-leaguer was a double on Tuesday and he gave that ball to his father, who was in attendance.

Sunday's home run ball was acquired by the Mets from the fan who caught it in exchange for an autographed bat and ball. So who is going to get that one?

"I'm going to keep it for myself," d'Arnaud said. "This one is the one I wanted."

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