9:40 PM ET, April 15, 2014
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
PHOENIX -- A group of Mets players gathered around the television in the clubhouse to watch a replay of Kirk Nieuwenhuis' homer a couple of hours earlier.
Off the crack of the bat, one player shouted: "Get in the pool!"
Nieuwenhuis just missed a splashdown but was on the mark in his season debut.
Called up from the minors after Juan Lagares went on the disabled list, Nieuwenhuis had three hits and three RBIs and made a diving catch in center field to lead New York to a 9-0 rout of the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
"Three years ago, he was a guy people thought was going to be an offensive center fielder people thought could run, play the game the right way and had some power," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But some injuries have kept him down a little bit. Hopefully this is his chance to come up and produce."
Struggling heading into the three-game series, the Mets have gotten hot in the desert.
New York had 13 hits to win the opener and had 12 more to ensure a winning record on its nine-game trip.
Nieuwenhuis had the big highlight, a two-run homer to the pool deck at Chase Field in the Mets' six-run fourth inning off Bronson Arroyo (1-1). Eric Young Jr. had three hits and two RBIs, and Andrew Brown drove in two.
New York also got solid pitching, something that has been rare this season.
Jenrry Mejia (2-0) tossed five effective innings before leaving with a torn blister, combining with Gonzalez Germen and Kyle Farnsworth on a three-hitter for a second straight decisive victory over Arizona.
"It was a good win for us," Nieuwenhuis said. "Hopefully we can keep it going."
The Diamondbacks had another awful night on the mound, losing their seventh straight home game and eighth in nine at Chase Field.
Arroyo allowed 10 runs in less than four innings, and Arizona has given up 38 -- most of those by the starters -- through the first five games of a homestand that ends Wednesday against the Mets.
At 4-14, the Diamondbacks have matched the worst start in team history (1998).
"Last year it was the bullpen giving it up, and this year it's just the inverse," manager Kirk Gibson said. "That part is very frustrating."
Mejia struggled with walks during his first two starts -- nine in 11 innings -- but was hitting his spots against the Diamondbacks. He was perfect through three innings and didn't allow a hit until Paul Goldschmidt sneaked a single inside third base with one out in the fourth.
Mejia escaped a jam in the fifth inning and got some defensive help from Nieuwenhuis, who made a sliding catch in center to rob Mark Trumbo of a hit.
Mejia tore a blister on his right index finger and didn't come out for the sixth after allowing two hits.
"Until the blister started to act up, he threw the ball very well," Collins said. "About the fifth inning, we knew the finger was getting hot and were hoping to get another 20 pitches out of him but didn't get that."
Arroyo got an extra day of rest between starts, but it didn't seem to do him much good.
New York jumped on him from the start, stringing together three straight singles and scoring three runs in the first inning. Nieuwenhuis capped the outburst with a run-scoring single up the middle.
It got much worse for Arroyo in the fourth.
Nieuwenhuis added his pool-deck homer to right-center, and Young followed with a two-run single to left. New York scored another run on a single and error by center fielder A.J. Pollock and went up 9-0 on Brown's fielder's choice.
Arroyo allowed 10 runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
"It was 3-0 after the first inning, and that's exactly what we couldn't have on this ballclub right now," Arroyo said. "It just kills the morale of a team when you're losing constantly and giving up runs a lot, then you give up a three-spot early on. It just grew from there."
About the only thing that went right for the Diamondbacks came in the fifth inning when Gibson challenged a close play at first and had it overturned on replay -- with the score 9-0. Mejia got two weak groundouts with two on to end the inning.
Mets RF Curtis Granderson was out of the lineup after he injured his left forearm and ribs colliding with the outfield wall Monday night. He is day to day. ... New York's David Wright extended his hitting streak to seven games. ... Arizona RHP Brandon McCarthy, scheduled to start Wednesday, has a 1.16 ERA in four starts against National League East teams. ... Mets RHP Dillon Gee, who will start Wednesday, allowed four earned runs over five innings in his only start at Chase Field.
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 15: Members of the New York Mets stand attended for the National Anthem before the MLB game...(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|1st||L Duda grounded into fielder's choice to first, E Young Jr. scored, D Wright out at second, D Murphy to third.||1||0|
|1st||A Brown hit sacrifice fly to center, D Murphy scored, L Duda to second.||2||0|
|1st||K Nieuwenhuis singled to center, L Duda scored.||3||0|
|4th||K Nieuwenhuis homered to right (402 feet), A Brown scored.||5||0|
|4th||E Young Jr. singled to left, T d'Arnaud and O Quintanilla scored.||7||0|
|4th||D Murphy singled to center, E Young Jr. to second, E Young Jr. scored on error by center fielder A Pollock.||8||0|
|4th||A Brown grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, D Murphy scored, L Duda out at second, D Wright to third.||9||0|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ|
|Attendance||21,969 (45.2% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||87 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Gabe Morales, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt|
The Diamondbacks fall to 4-13, tied for the worst start by any team in the last 20 seasons, and their worst in franchise history. None of the previous 5 teams to start 4-13 over this span made the playoffs and 3 of the 5 went on to lose 100 games.[+]
Worst Record Through 17 Games
Bronson Arroyo has thrown a curveball on 38 percent of pitches since the start of last season, tops among qualified pitchers. Arroyo faces the Mets, who are hitting .154 this season in at-bats ending in curveballs, well below the league average of .210.
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