NEW YORK — Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered three times to help the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Sunday and complete a three-game sweep.
Nieuwenhuis homered twice off Diamondbacks starter Rubby De La Rosa (6-5), in the second and third innings and once off reliever Randall Delgado in the fifth. His homer off Delgado rang off the right field foul ball and drew a curtain call from the cheering crowd of 28,259.
The Mets outfielder’s effort backed Jonathon Niese, who was starting in place of the injured Steven Matz. Niese (5-8) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Nieuwenhuis’ effort marked the first time any Met had ever homered three times in a home game. Nieuwenhuis is the 10th player in Mets history with a three-homer game and the first since Ike Davis accomplished the feat on July 28, 2012 at Arizona.
He was a mere 3-for-38 before being designated for assignment by the Mets on May 19. New York reacquired him on June 13, after he was waived by the Angels. With a chance to tie the major league record of four home runs in a game, last matched by Josh Hamilton in 2012, Nieuwenhuis struck out against left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin.
Daniel Murphy also homered for the Mets and all 13 runs produced by the team in the series were via home runs.
After Nieuwenhus’ first blast opened scoring in the second, the Diamondbacks scratched out a run when Chris Owings lead off the third with a double and scored on Nick Ahmed’s groundout to short.
Paul Goldschmidt snapped out of a 0-for-8 skid with a long home run in the fourth.
After David Peralta’s two-out, RBI single in the seventh, Jenrry Mejia made his first appearance of the season, retiring Owings on a flyball to Curtis Granderson to end the threat. Mejia had served a 80-game suspension for using Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug.
Bobby Parnell worked around a two-out walk to All-Star A.J. Pollock, helped by a diving catch in foul territory by first baseman Lucas Duda.
Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 29 chances. Familia closed all three games in the series.
Mets: OF Michael Cuddyer (knee) was held out of the lineup after starting back-to-back games. Manager Terry Collins said, “it was a good day to get his lefties in there” against De La Rosa, but also suggested that giving Cuddyer an extra day off, because of knee, made sense.OF Curtis Granderson and IF Daniel Murphy both returned to the starting lineup after receiving a day off (rest). … Juan Lagares came out the game at the start of the right inning with a tight right calf.
Diamondbacks: Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (blister) wore a band-aid on his injured finger and threw a side session before the game. Prior to the game, manager Chip Hale indicated that depending on how the session went, changes might have to be made to his post All-Star game rotation. Shortly before first pitch, the Diamondbacks announced that Hellickson, who was scheduled to pitch the team’s second game after the break, would switch places with Chase Anderson and pitch the fifth game instead. …
Mets: After the All-Star break, the Mets begin a stretch of ten games in ten days against the three first place teams in the National League, with the first six coming on the road. The Mets will travel to St. Louis to begin the second half, taking on the Cardinals. Collins indicated that Noah Syndergaard (4-4, 3.11 ERA) would likely start the first game of the series, followed by either Bartolo Colon or Jonathon Niese.
Diamondbacks: Following the break, the Diamondbacks begin a ten-game homestand. The San Francisco Giants are first up on the schedule, for a three-game NL West matchup. Robbie Ray (3-4, 2.16 ERA) will be on the mound for the series opener. Chase Anderson and Patrick Corbin will follow him. Anderson was originally scheduled to pitch the fifth game after the break, to provide him with extra rest, but it was announced prior to the game that he would switch places with Jeremy Hellickson.