They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
If so, then Dominic Leone would like a mulligan, please.
Acquired from Seattle as part of the Mark Trumbo trade 24 hours earlier, Leone, who arrived at the ballpark a little over three hours before first pitch, suffered a loss in his Arizona Diamondbacks debut.
The New York Mets tagged him for three runs on four hits in an inning of work on their way to a 6-2 series-opening victory in front of an announced crowd of 18,954 at Chase Field on Throwback Thursday.
Asked to protect a 1-0 lead after starter Robbie Ray (1-0) pitched five shutout innings, Leone quickly allowed back-to-back singles to begin the sixth. With one out, Kevin Plawecki drove in a pair with a double to center field, followed two batters later by Ruben Tejada’s sacrifice fly to cap the three-run frame.
The Mets added three insurance runs in the last two innings. The offense proved to be more than enough for Matt Harvey, who earned his first win since May 1, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Harvey (6-3) was charged with two runs — solo home runs by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Paul Goldschmidt — in an otherwise stellar performance that saw him strike out nine with just one walk issued in seven innings of work.
He retired nine straight at one point and 14 of the final 16 batters he faced.
Ray, meanwhile, gave the D-backs exactly what they needed, scattering six hits and one walk with four strikeouts in five innings the same day he was recalled from Triple-A Reno to replace Archie Bradley, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with right shoulder tendinitis.
A real Houdini act by Ray in each of the first two innings. After a leadoff single followed by a double to put runners on second and third in the first, he struck out Michael Cuddyer and Lucas Duda before getting Wilmer Flores to ground out to escape the jam. One inning later, a leadoff double and single put runners on the corners ahead of a strikeout of Plawecki and two straight flyouts. The only negative is that Ray needed 45 pitches to perform the tricks — 25 in the first, 20 in the second.
With a one-out single in the first inning, A.J. Pollock extended his hitting streak to five games. He added another single in the third and went 2-for-4; he has now hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games at a .409 clip (27-for-66) with five doubles, two triples, four home runs, eight RBI and 11 walks.
Looks like Saltalamacchia is feeling more comfortable at the plate. He lined a two-out solo home run over the right field fence and onto the pool deck in the second inning for the first run of the game and the team’s Major League-leading 109th two-out RBI. Saltalamacchia is 5-for-15 in his last four games after going 2-for-33 (.066) in his previous 10.
So, this Goldschmidt kid is pretty good. His one-out sixth-inning solo home run — that hit the message board overlooking the pool area, by the way — was his 16th of the season and the 99th of his career, tying him with Matt Williams for sixth place on the D-backs all-time hit list, while the RBI (347) moved him past Mark Reynolds and into sole possession of seventh place in club history. Goldschmidt is hitting .480 (12-for-25) with four doubles, four home runs, seven RBI and 11 walks in his last seven games.
Though the D-backs jumped in front in the second, they probably should’ve scored an inning earlier. With one out, Pollock singled and Goldschmidt walked — shocking, I know — to put runners on first and second. Yasmany Tomas, though, then hit into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
The scenario nearly repeated itself in the third inning. Again with one out, Inciarte and Pollock hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners ahead of Goldschmidt and Tomas. Goldschmidt, however, chased a 97-mph high fastball, and Tomas swung and missed at a 92-mph slider to end the threat.
Those two strikeouts began a run of five straight D-backs hitters that Harvery struck out. He finished with nine, striking out the side in both the third and fourth innings. Of course, it should be noted that three years ago Harvey made his Major League debut at Chase Field and struck out 11. He had not made an in-game appearance in the ballpark since.
All good things must come to an end, and for Addison Reed, that good run ended in the eighth inning. Curtis Granderson lined a pinch-hit single into left field, scoring John Mayberry from second for the Mets’ fourth run of the game — and the first run charged to Reed in six games. Reed, who allowed three hits and struck out a pair, had held opponents scoreless in eight of his last nine appearances.
A rare Nick Ahmed error, his fourth of the season, opened the door for the Mets to add a pair of insurance runs in the ninth inning. Mayberry greeted Daniel Hudson’s 0-2 offering and put it into the seats in left field for a two-run home run, his second homer of the season, snapping Hudson’s streak of seven straight scoreless appearances. Mayberry tied his career-high with four hits, raising his batting average 59 points to .196.
STAT OF THE GAME
2: The Mets won for just the second time in their last 11 road games, ending the D-backs’ modest two-game winning streak.
HE SAID IT
“Just everything was up (in the zone). The ball was a little flat tonight,” Leone said. “The Mets are a good hitting team, aggressive hitting team, and they put some good swings on some balls that they should’ve hit and they did. They just made the best of the mistakes that I made.”
Mets third baseman Daniel Murphy was removed from the game prior to the bottom of the third inning because of tightness in his left quad.
The D-backs and Mets went a combined 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight men on base through the first three innings.
Tomas’ one-out single in the sixth inning was his 12th infield hit of the season.
Chris Owings’ leadoff single in the ninth inning extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Ray recorded a first-pitch strike to 15-of-22 batters faced; Harvey 19-of-27.
D-backs have homered in 12 of their last 13 games.
D-backs alum Stephen Randolph threw out the ceremonial first pitch, which was caught by alum Chris Snyder.
The series continues with game two of the four-game set, one in which Jeremy Hellickson — pitching on five days rest — and Jonathon Niese are the scheduled starters with Hellickson from the right side, Niese the left.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Friday with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Hellickson (3-3) is on a personal two-game winning streak, having beaten the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers in each of his past two outings, during which he’s allowed five earned runs over 12.2 innings for a 3.55 ERA with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Hellickson is 0-1 lifetime against the Mets, losing a 9-6 decision while with Tampa Bay in 2012.
Niese (3-5), meanwhile, is winless in his last four starts, including three defeats. He received a no-decision his last time out in which he pitched four innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits in the Mets’ 9-5 victory against the Miami Marlins on May 30.
Niese has allowed at least four earned runs in a career-high four straight starts. He’ll be making his sixth career start against the D-backs.