Mets earn split with win over D-backs
The Diamondbacks used a miscue by Daniel Murphy in the ninth and turned a season high-tying five double plays for a 2-1 victory in the opener.
Anthony Recker had a career high four hits. Pinch-hitter Ruben Tejada hit a tiebreaking single off Triple-A Reno callup Zeke Spruill (0-1) in the sixth inning for the Mets, who have won just three of 11 games.
Murphy added an RBI single in the eighth for New York. Jenrry Mejia pitched the ninth for his third save after getting the loss in the first game.
The 33-year-old Matsuzaka (2-0) made 123 starts and one relief appearance in seven big league seasons before being called up by the Mets in mid-April to work out of the bullpen.
The longest of his 14 relief outings this season was 3 2-3 innings and 56 pitches. But after being named the starter when Friday's game was washed out in the fourth inning, he said was confident he could give manager Terry Collins 100 pitches. He only fell two short in allowing only three hits.
Other than a three-batter sequence in the second when Aaron Hill led off with a single, Martin Prado got a favorable carom for an RBI triple and Cody Ross followed with a run-scoring groundout, Matsuzka was sharp. He struck out six, walked one and hit a batter.
He also excelled at the plate. A career .185 hitter, Matsuzaka got a run back for the Mets when he sent a broken-bat flare into left field in the second inning.
After Lucas Duda and Chris Young each stranded six runners and grounded into a combined three double plays in the first game, Collins mixed up a lineup that was 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position in the opener.
The 40-year-old Abreu was making only his sixth start since coming up five weeks ago and he had two hits, driving in the tying run in the fifth with a double off Spruill, the Diamondbacks' 26th man for the twinbill.
Tejada hit for Matsuzaka in the bottom of the sixth and had an RBI single. He drove in Recker, who doubled.
Spruill gave up 10 hits and three runs in 5 1-3 innings.
In the opener, the Diamondbacks broke a 1-all tie when Murphy dropped a throw at second base from David Wright, trying for an inning-ending forceout in the ninth.
A.J. Pollock, who doubled off Mejia (4-1), scored when Muprhy dropped Wright's force attempt at second base on Owings' grounder to third base.
Owings homered off Rafael Montero and Wright had an RBI single off Bronson Arroyo, both runs coming in the first.
Addison Reed earned his 14th save.
Montero and Arroyo impressed with differing styles. The 23-year-old Montero used a 91-92 mph fastball to strikeout 10 in his third big league start The high-kicking, slow-pitching Arroyo induced four double plays — including inning-ending turns in the second, third and fourth innings to keep the game tied.
Former Diamondbacks outfielder Young grounded into two of the double plays. The struggling Mets newcomer left six on in his three at-bats.
Duda had the double play that hurt the most, though. With first and third, he hit a sharp grounder off Evan Marshall (2-0) to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who threw home. Catcher Miguel Montero made a perfect relay back to Goldschmidt at first base. Duda also left six on base and was lustily booed.
Manager Kirk Gibson said he lifted Arroyo after six innings because the 37-year-old right-hander had a tender elbow.
"I'll be fine. I'll make my next start," Arroyo said. "But there are just some times when your shoulder is beat up, your elbow is beat up, your back is beat up, there's times when you're grinding through (stuff)."
NOTES: Gibson said new Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa is busy assessing the minor league system but they stay in contact with text messages. ... Mets C Travis d'Arnaud (concussion) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Sunday at Binghamton. ... Mets OF Eric Young Jr. turned 29 Sunday. ... Up Monday: The Mets host the Pittsburgh Pirates in Ike Davis' return to Citi Field. Arizona opens a three-game set against the Padres at Chase Field. ... The Mets left 13 on base in finale, 23 overall.
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