By Jason Schott - @JESchott19
The Mets lost another one-run game to open Sunday's doubleheader, as the Diamondbacks got a run in the ninth to win 2-1. The Mets got good pitching from Rafael Montero, but they left 10 runners on base.
Jenrry Mejia, essentially the Mets closer at this point, came on in the ninth with the score tied at one. He allowed a lead-off double to A.J. Pollock, and walked Gerardo Parra with one out. Chris Owings then hit one to David Wright, who threw to Daniel Murphy at second to get the force out, but Murphy dropped the ball, allowing Pollock to score and give the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead. Owings was responsible for Arizona's only run, a first-inning home run down the left field line.
In the bottom of the ninth against Arizona closer Addison Reed, Centeno and pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores singled with one out. Reed recovered to strike out Juan Lagares looking. Murphy came up with a chance for redemption and hit one to left field that Ender Inciarte made a running catch on.
Rafael Montero looked very impressive in his third start for the Mets, as he allowed just one run (Owings' homer), two hits, and struck out ten. He is just the fourth Met to strike out ten in a game in one of his first three career starts, with Matt Harvey being the last Met to do it
After Owings homered in the top of the first to make it 1-0 Arizona, the Mets responded in the bottom half with three straight singles from Juan Lagares, Daniel Murphy, and David Wright, who drove in Lagares to tie the game at 1. Curtis Granderson struck out, Chris Young popped one up behind the plate and Lucas Duda swung at the first pitch, dribbling it in front of the plate to end the inning.
The Mets kept getting runners on against Arizona starter Bronson Arroyo, but bailed him out as three straight innings ended on double plays. Juan Lagares hit into a double play with two on in the second, Chris Young hit into one with two on to end the third, and Juan Centeno hit into a tailor-made one to end the third with a man on base. Arroyo went six innings, and allowed just 1 run on 6 hits, 1 walk, and just 1 strikeout.
Jose Valverde came in for the Mets with one out in the eighth inning and got Chris Owings to fly out. Paul Goldschmidt then doubled and then intentionally walked Miguel Montero. That caused Valverde to lose the strike zone, as he then walked Aaron Hill on four pitches to load the bases. Valverde then went 3-1 on Chavez before recovering to get him to hit a fly ball to center to get out of the jam.
Former Met Oliver Perez pitched the seventh, and stayed in for the eighth and the Mets got a rally going. Murphy singled up the middle and Wright walked. Granderson then hit a deep fly ball to right, which was good enough to allow Murphy to tag up to third. Evan Marshall came in for Arizona at this point, and Bobby Abreu pinch hit for Chris Young and drew a walk to load the bases.
At this point, Lucas Duda was up for another opportunity to deliver with the bases loaded. He swung at the first pitch and hit it right at Goldschmidt at first base and he threw home to start the rare 3-6-3 double play. Duda at this point was 0-for-4 and left five on base.