Diamondbacks 3, Mets 1
Livan Hernandez gave up one run in seven innings and the Diamondbacks beat the Mets 3-1 Sunday to end a 13-game home losing streak to New York.
“That’s a scary streak,” said Arizona’s Bob Melvin, who had managed 11 of the losses. “You hate to see that. It’s nice to get that over with, no question.”
The Diamondbacks hadn’t beaten the Mets in Chase Field since May 11, 2004, when it was known as Bank One Ballpark. None of Arizona’s nine starters were with the club then.
The Mets won the first three games of the series but played short-handed Sunday. Carlos Beltran, a late scratch with sore legs, was not in the lineup, although he pinch hit in the ninth inning, fouling out to end the game. The Mets were also without Moises Alou (knee) and Paul Lo Duca, who rested after catching a night game.
“They took it to us for three days in a row,” said Eric Byrnes, who doubled and scored two runs. “I think we had to make a statement today. We weren’t to roll over for these guys. We kind of had to stand up for ourselves.”
Despite the loss, the Mets were upbeat as they left for San Francisco, where they’ll open a three-game series against Barry Bonds and the Giants on Monday night.
“Anytime you win a series you’re looking good,” David Wright said. “We came in here and we played well and hopefully that continues on to San Francisco.”
The Mets’ domination was on Hernandez’s mind when he arrived at the ballpark Sunday morning. But he shook his head when asked if he felt any additional pressure because of the long losing streak.
“Pressure? Pressure is when I lived in Cuba,” said Hernandez, who defected from his native country in 1995. “That was the last pressure I had in my life. I don’t feel pressure.”
Hernandez (3-1) entered with a higher batting average—.231—than four of Arizona’s position players. And he pitched as if he expected scant run support.
Leading 1-0 in the fourth, Hernandez gave up an RBI single to Ramon Castro. But he stranded runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Hernandez gave up one run and six hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out three.
“I knew I had to go and do my job and try to win, because it’s very important to try to get out of the slump right now,” Hernandez said.
Mike Pelfrey (0-4) allowed three runs and three hits in 5 1-3 innings for New York. He walked four, hit two batters with pitches and struck out one.
Pelfrey’s command was his biggest problem. He walked two in the first and hit two in the sixth, and both times the Diamondbacks took advantage, scoring on sacrifice flies.
“He started out, obviously, shaky at first, but settled down real nicely,” manager Willie Randolph said. “We had opportunities to win the game today as far as getting some hits here and there. Overall, I thought he did pretty well.”
Melvin called a team meeting before the game to urge his young team to play more consistently. The Diamondbacks, who are 17-16, have had two six-game winning streaks and two five-game losing streaks.
“Just trying to get past these streaks, that’s basically the theme, at least the losing streak parts,” Melvin said. “We like the winning streaks.”
Beltran, a career .300 hitter against Hernandez, was in the original lineup posted by Randolph on Sunday morning but was scratched when he reported that his legs were sore. Endy Chavez replaced Beltran. … Arizona 2B Orlando Hudson walked in the first inning to reach base for the 33rd straight game. The club record is 40, set by Jay Bell in 1998. … Mets SS Jose Reyes stole his 19th base, most in the majors. … To show appreciation for American servicemen and women, the Diamondbacks admitted military personnel for free. The game drew 35,363, the largest crowd since opening day.