Wright Homers Twice, Mets Beat Diamondbacks
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NEW YORK (AP) — David Wright and the New York Mets were sorry to see this homestand end.
Wright homered twice and Jason Pridie hit the first home run of his major league career in the Mets’ 8-4 win Sunday over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Wright has hit three homers in the past four games, all Mets victories on a successful six-game stay at Citi Field that has reversed a dim start to the season.
“It was a good homestand for us,” Wright said. “We got the 4-2 record kind of a weird way.”
Jonathon Niese (1-3) pitched seven innings for his first win of the year. Armando Galarraga (3-1) was gone after three innings for Arizona.
“We’ll go as far as our starting pitching carries us,” Wright said. “I think it all starts and ends with starting pitching.”
Ike Davis hit an RBI single in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He struck out with the bases loaded in the eighth. By then the only real drama was whether he’d homer for the fourth straight game.
Stephen Drew drove in two runs, but Chris Young went 0 for 4 for the Diamondbacks, dropping him to 2 for 25 on their six-game road trip. Arizona has dropped four in a row and seven of 10.
“Stephen’s the only guy,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “He’s been solid for us. I like C.Y. I don’t think that he’s that far off for us, to be honest with you, but hasn’t had good results this whole trip.”
When this series began, the Mets had just avoided a sweep by the last-place Houston Astros. Now they’ll go to Washington and Philadelphia with their first real taste of success this season.
“It’s really good,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “I think the brightest sign has been our starting pitching. It’s really stepped up here and gotten us to where we need to get to. I think you see a difference in the bullpen where they can just pitch to certain guys. I think it makes everyone more comfortable.”
On their first homestand of the season, Mets won three in a row, but blew a lead against Washington. Collins said that was the catalyst for a six-game skid — to get out of it, he used starters Chris Capuano and R.A. Dickey in relief in the last game at Atlanta before this homestand.
Since then, New York is 4-2 — though it has come against a pair of unspectacular teams.
Galarraga only was charged with two of the six runs that happened on his watch, keeping his ERA stuck at an even 6.00. He struck out five, walked four and added a balk in the second inning — Arizona’s second balk in two days.
Third baseman Ryan Roberts’ throwing error opened the door for the Mets in the third.
He pulled first baseman Xavier Nady off the bag toward home on Wright’s leadoff grounder to third. Wright came home on a sacrifice fly by Josh Thole before Pridie’s three-run shot to right field.
“I was trying to hold back a smile as I rounded the bases,” Pridie said.
In the fourth, Wright piled on against reliever Josh Collmenter with a high, arcing shot down the left-field line that just barely got over the fence and to the right of the pole.
“I thought it was foul,” Wright said. “Usually when you pull it, it hooks a little bit.”
His first homer, which put New York up 2-0 in the first, was a hard liner that looked good right off the bat. Wright’s last multihomer game was Sept. 12, 2009, at Philadelphia.
Niese was sharp enough that he didn’t need all the offense. In seven innings, the left-hander gave up six hits and three runs, two earned. He struggled in his first three starts. Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen spoke to Niese about his pace on the mound.
“Rushing is probably a good word” to describe his problems in the first three starts, Niese said. “I thought I’d take my time today.”
Two of the Diamondbacks’ runs came on groundouts. The other two came on Drew’s single in the sixth and double in the eighth.
NOTES: After the game, the Mets optioned RHP D.J. Carrasco to Triple-A Buffalo. GM Sandy Alderson says they expect to activate LHP Chris Young from the 15-day DL on Tuesday. He added that C Ronny Paulino may not return from the DL on April 26. He has anemia, but he also experienced tightness in an oblique while rehabbing. … It was gloriously sunny and 75 degrees at the first pitch — the first really nice day of the year at Citi Field. But the attendance of 22,232 was the lowest ever at the ballpark on a Saturday or Sunday, according to STATS LLC. … The Mets last won four straight Sept. 13-16. … Arizona RHP Ian Kennedy’s first child was born early Sunday morning, daughter Nora Rose. … A day after Roberts made a nifty grab of a foul pop while hanging over the dugout railing in the first inning, he had a chance to do it again. This time, the ball popped out of his glove. … Wright stole second in the eighth, apparently catching the Diamondbacks by surprise while they were down four runs. … The Mets last sweep of Arizona in New York was in 2000. … Mets RF Carlos Beltran turned 34. … The player with the lowest odd number on the Diamondbacks roster is Kennedy, with 31.