Montero Struggles Again As Mets Fall To Rangers, 5-1

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Martin Perez allowed three hits over eight innings, Joey Gallo hit his 32nd home run and the Texas Rangers beat the New York Mets 5-1 on Wednesday for a two-game split.

Texas took a 3-0 lead in the first against Rafael Montero (1-8) when the pitcher balked with Shin-Soo Choo taking a sizable and distracting lead off of third, and Gallo hit a two-run drive into the upper deck in right, his 11th home run since the All-Star break.

Elvis Andrus reached when he grounded into a forceout in the second, then advanced on three straights pitches when he stole second and third, and he slid home headfirst ahead of shortstop Amed Rosario’s throw on Nomar Mazara’s grounder.

Perez (6-10) did not allow a hit until Wilner Flores homered leading off the fifth, a drive off an orange M&M sign that initially was ruled a double but was changed after a video review. Perez struck out five and walked none. He had a 9.41 ERA in losing his previous four starts.

Rafael Montero

The Mets’ Rafael Montero pitches in the second inning against the Texas Rangers on
Aug. 9, 2017, at Citi Field. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Originally scheduled to start this weekend in Arlington, Perez moved up after Andrew Cashner was scratched with a stiff neck on Tuesday. Alex Claudio pitched a perfect ninth to complete a three-hitter.

“He had a good sinker going. He was kind of getting in on lefties. He had a good changeup to throw to the right-handers, mix in a slider here and there,” said the Mets’ Michael Conforto, who was 0-for-4. “He was just hitting his spots, was not walking guys. Just attacking guys and getting early contact.”

Montero was remarkably inefficient, needing 40 pitches to get through the first inning and 74 through the first two. He left after three innings and 87 pitches, allowing four runs, five hits, three walks and two hit batters. Montero is 0-4 in six starts since winning at San Francisco on June 25. His ERA on the season is 6.06.

MORE: Schwei’s Mets Notes: Dodgers Display Their Dominance At Plate, On Mound

“I think the changeup for me is a really important one,” Montero said through a translator. “Today was just a bad day. Pitchers go through that sometimes where a pitch they really trust doesn’t really work on a certain day.”

Mets pitchers needed 124 pitches to get through five innings and 210 in all. New York (50-61) dropped 11 games under .500, matching its low since July 2014.

Hansel Robles walked Drew Robinson with the bases loaded in the sixth.

LEFT BEHIND
Texas stranded 15 runners and was 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

CLIMBING THE RANKS
Arian Beltre has two hits, raising his total to 3,008 and passing Al Kaline for sole possession of 29th place.

ROSTER SHUFFLE
Texas recalled INF Tyler Smith from Round Rock and optioned RHP Nick Martinez to the Triple-A farm team. Smith was claimed on waivers from Seattle on July 30, and the 26-year-old rookie hit .188 in 10 games with the Mariners. Martinez was sent down so that he could continue to start on a regular basis, according to manager Jeff Banister.

TRAINER’S ROOM
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor was out of the starting lineup after being hit on the left foot by an errant pitch Tuesday night. “Precautionary more than anything else,” Banister said. Odor struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth and remained in the game at second base. … Cashner (stiff neck) has made some positive progress since being scratched on Tuesday. “It still hurts a little bit, but my movement is definitely better today than it was yesterday,” he said before the game. Cashner will continue treatment and may start this weekend.

Mets: RHP Matt Harvey (stress injury to right shoulder) said he felt fine, a day after throwing batting practice. “He wants to get out and start pitching in some games,” manager Terry Collins said. “He’s raring to make the next step.”

UP NEXT
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (6-1) is to start Friday’s series opener against visiting Houston. He is coming off a four-hit win at Minnesota.

Mets:
RHP Jacob deGrom (12-5) starts Thursday in the first game of a four-game series at Philadelphia. DeGrom has lost two straight starts after winning eight in a row.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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