After being traded from Seattle the day before, relief pitcher Dominic Leone made his first appearance for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday at Chase Field.
Leone spelled left-hander Robbie Ray, who was recalled earlier in the day and made just his second start of the season in the big leagues. Ray, 23, had an adventurous five innings of work, allowing six hits (including three doubles) and a walk, but the lefty kept New York Mets scoreless and the D-backs in the lead.
Leone, also 23, got to work the sixth inning, but it wasn’t pretty. The right-hander allowed two straight singles to lead off the frame, and with one out, Kevin Plawecki hit a two-run double off the center field wall, and the Mets were finally in the lead. Ruben Tejada hit a sacrifice fly later in the inning, and New York suddenly was up two after failing to score through the first five.
Mets starter Matt Harvey, meanwhile, was solid throughout, only allowing Arizona to score on solo homers by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Paul Goldschmidt.
The Mets later added four runs, including two off Daniel Hudson in the ninth — neither earned — and they claimed a series-opening 6-2 win in the four-game set. Harvey went seven innings while striking out nine and only allowing six hits in improving his record to 6-3 on the year.
Leone suffered his fifth loss of the year — between both leagues — as Arizona fell to 25-28. New York improved to a NL East-leading 30-25 with the victory.
Here’s a look at the one that got away from the D-backs, by the numbers:
The usually sure-handed Nick Ahmed made a rare error on a groundball in the ninth, his fourth miscue of the year. It proved to be detrimental to the D-backs, as John Mayberry Jr. hit a two-run homer to left-center a batter latter, marking the Mets’ final two runs of the night. At the plate Thursday, Ahmed was 0-for-4 with one strikeout, his batting average dropping to .215.
8 & 5
A couple of Diamondbacks extended some hitting streaks Thursday. Chris Owings went 1-for-4 to extend his streak to eight, while A.J. Pollock collected two hits in four at-bats and has now hit safely in five straight. Yasmany Tomas, meanwhile, went 1-for-3 with a walk, falling one hit shy of his third straight multi-hit game.
The Diamondbacks were lucky New York didn’t put up even more on the scoreboard, as the visitors left 10 runners on base. The Mets racked up 14 hits in the contest, while Arizona had eight and left seven baserunners stranded.
Leone came to Arizona with a not-too-impressive 6.35 ERA for the season, but he now has a 27.00 mark in the National League after his forgettable D-backs debut. The right-handed reliever had a 2.17 ERA and 8-2 record in 57 appearances last year for Seattle, but he is now 0-5 between both leagues in this campaign.
Saltalamacchia’s second-inning homer was the first run of the game and his first long ball as a Diamondback.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) June 5, 2015
The 30-year-old catcher has now gone yard 91 times in his career, including twice this year. What did he do in his other three at-bats Thursday? Those opportunities all ended in strikeouts, his third multi-strikeout game since joining the D-backs.
Goldschmidt is now just one homer away from 100 in his career, as his opposite-field shot in the sixth inning was his 16th long ball of the year.
— MLB (@MLB) June 5, 2015
The homer gave Goldy 45 RBI for the season, which is currently tied for second in the majors. In his other three plate appearances against New York, the first baseman walked once and struck out twice.
Mayberry Jr. came into the game with a modest .137 batting average, but he was the star of the show in the series opener, going 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. The right fielder hit two doubles in the contest — his second and third of the year — and his homer was just his second of the campaign. Mayberry boosted his average to .196 with the stellar performance.
It was a light crowd Thursday at Chase. Perhaps many fans stayed home and chose to watch Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Whatever the reason, just 18,954 visitors converged on the downtown Phoenix ballpark for the series opener, meaning the stadium was 39 percent full. Arizona’s average home attendance is 25,400.