Mets take series against postseason-hopeful Arizona Diamondbacks

The Mets haven’t quite extinguished the Arizona Diamondbacks’ hopes of making the playoffs, but they sure tried.

The Diamondbacks came to New York this week hoping to gain footing in the NL Wild Card race. But the Mets took the series winning the final three of four, defeating Arizona, 11-1, on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.

It gave the Mets (68-78) six wins against the Snakes (76-72) in seven tries this season. They took wins off of a Cy Young contender in right-hander Zach Gallen and another off right-hander Merrill Kelly, who rarely loses on the road.

The Mets tagged Kelly for seven runs Thursday in the series finale. Jeff McNeil highlighted a five-run fourth inning with his ninth home run of the season, a two-run shot that put the Mets up 7-0 and just about ended Kelly’s night.

Kelly (11-7) struck out Francisco Alvarez and Daniel Vogelbach to end the inning and end his day. The seven runs came on six hits and four walks. He also struck out seven, but he was ineffective when not missing bats or getting groundball outs. Once the Mets got the ball in the air, it was all over.

Kodai Senga (11-7) faced almost no trouble until the sixth inning. He walked Ketel Marte and Tommy Pham to load the bases with two outs but got Christian Walker to pop up to shallow center field to get out of the jam.

Those were the only two walks Senga allowed over six innings. The right-hander has struggled to finish off hitters at times this season, his first in North America, but has been able to avoid free passes in some recent outings.

Six scoreless innings lowered his ERA to 2.95. Senga has been in the NL Rookie of the Year conversation all season, but he might end up with some Cy Young votes as well.

Jonathan Arauz mashed a three-run shot off right-hander Scott McGough in the eighth, allowing Arizona to put a position player on the mound. In the middle of a playoff race, the D-backs had to resort putting a backup catcher on the mound. Seby Zavala, forced to hit as the pitcher, grounded out to Arauz at shortstop to end the game.

If only the Mets could play all of their games against the Diamondbacks.