Arenado homers, drives in 5 as Rockies beat Mets, 6-4
DENVER (AP) — Nolan Arenado should have no trouble getting to sleep now.
Arenado homered for the third straight game and drove in five runs to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 6-4 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday. After hitting .171 while the Rockies lost eight of 10 over the last two weeks, Arenado hit .538 in the last three games.
"When you're losing and you're not getting hits it hurts," Arenado said. "It keeps me up at night."
Arenado also doubled to back another strong outing from Kyle Freeland (7-6). Freeland has pitched at least six innings in 10 of his last 11 starts and has emerged as the team's most reliable starter.
Arenado had just two home runs in his first 15 games of June, but has four in his last seven. He put the Rockies ahead 3-1 with a three-run homer in the first off Steven Matz (3-5), his 16th of the season.
He delivered a two-run double in the second to drive in five for the second time this season. He also had five RBIs at the Chicago Cubs on May 2.
"Today was a special day. I'm not going to drive in five every game," he said.
Todd Frazier gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the first with his eighth homer. New York has lost three in a row after winning three straight.
The Mets got within two runs when Frazier and Michael Conforto led off the eighth with singles. Yency Almonte, making his major league debut, relieved Chris Rusin and allowed one inherited runner to score that made it 5-3 before getting an inning-ending double play.
It was the fifth double-play grounder by New York on the afternoon. The Rockies tied a franchise record for a nine-inning game by inducing five ground-ball double plays. It's only the third time in any game the Rockies induced five groundout double plays.
Freeland got out of three jams with double plays.
"He made some really good pitches down," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "I've seen Freeland in the past, he does a good job of executing the balls just down under the zone. If you chase one and put it in play, it becomes a double play."
Gerardo Parra's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth restored the three-run lead. New York got one back when Kevin Plawecki tripled in the ninth and came home on a groundout. Dominic Smith doubled with two outs, but Jake McGee struck out Brandon Nimmo to get his first save of the season.
Mets: INF Asdrubal Cabrera was out of the lineup, but Callaway said he was fine a day after hitting his left elbow making a tag. ... Callaway said OF Yoenis Cespedes (right hip flexor) did some stretching and the hope is he progresses in the next few days.
Arenado has only 14 career at-bats against Matz but he's made them count. He is hitting .357 with four home runs and 12 RBIs against the Mets' lefty after Thursday.
"I threw a couple of bad pitches and Arenado beat me twice," Matz said. "That really sums up the whole game."
Matz struck out Arenado looking in the fourth and settled down to go 5 2-3 innings.
"When you put your team in a hole like that you gotta look ahead and go as deep as you can," Matz said.
Before the game, the Rockies recalled Almonte from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned INF Ryan McMahon to their top farm team. Almonte said he was struggling with nerves when he jogged to the mound in the eighth.
"I came in and it was first and third and I thought, 'I need to do something, get a ground ball or a fly out,'" Almonte said. "That was huge for me."
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82) will open a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. Wheeler has gone six or more innings in nine of his 13 starts.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (6-7, 5.89) takes the mound in the opener of a weekend series against Miami. Gray has allowed 12 earned runs in three June starts and holds a 6.75 ERA for the month.