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Sedona Red Recap: D-backs bats continue to beat up on the Mets

Arizona Diamondbacks' Jean Segura watches the baseball just before connecting on a run-scoring double against the New York Mets during the fifth inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Too bad the Arizona Diamondbacks can’t play the New York Mets all the time.

Four times they’ve faced the Mets and four times they’ve beaten them.

In fact, their last four wins have come against the Mets in what manager Chip Hale called an “odd” quirk to the schedule.

“To play a team that you only play once on the road and once at home, to play them within a week’s period is odd,” he told reporters prior to the game Monday.

The D-backs beat the Mets, 10-6, taking the opener of the three-game series in front of an announced crowd of 17,340 at Chase Field.

Welington Castillo, Jake Lamb, Chris Owings and Yasmany Tomas each drove in two runs while Brandon Drury and Jean Segura added RBI doubles.

Castillo went 4-for-5, tying his career-high in hits.

Tomas homered, hitting his 22nd of the season in the eighth inning.

Robbie Ray benefited from the 16-hit attack, securing his sixth win. The left-hander’s first victory since July 17 established a new career-high.

The D-backs scored three times in the first inning, then added single runs in the third and fourth off Mets starter Bartolo Colon (10-7), who in his 500 major league game allowed five runs—two earned—on nine hits with two walks and one strikeout in four innings.

The D-backs remain the one team Colon has never beaten.

Ray (6-11), meanwhile, worked five innings, giving up two runs—a pair of Jose Reyes RBI singles—on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He left with a 6-2 lead.

The win snapped the D-backs’ three-game losing streak.

THE GOOD

See, all it took was familiar surroundings. Hitless during the recent road trip and 0-for-22 overall, Lamb needed just one at-bat to end his slump. With one out and two on in the first inning, he lined a single to centerfield, which scored Segura from third base to put the D-backs in front, 1-0. Lamb added a sacrifice fly three innings later, giving him 75 total RBI, moving him past Paul Goldschmidt for the team lead.

Reinstated to the active roster prior to the game, Castillo, hitting sixth, wasted no time getting back into the swing of things. His first-inning, two-out single plated Michael Bourn for the D-backs’ second run. Castillo ripped a 1-2 pitch into center field. Castillo had left the team last Tuesday to be with his wife, Kissalry, for the birth of their second child, Jeremiah. Castillo added a second RBI single in the sixth inning.

Perhaps no D-backs batter is feeling better at the plate than Owings right now. He extended his hitting streak to eight games with a two-out RBI single in the first inning for the D-backs’ third run in the inning. It marked the ninth time overall and sixth time at home, Arizona has scored three or more runs in its first at-bats this season. Owings added a run-scoring double two innings later. He’s batting .484 (15-for-31) since Aug. 7.

Of the D-backs 16 hits, almost half were doubles; seven, to be exact. The fifth and sixth belonged to Drury and Segura, respectively. Their two extra-base hits arrived in a two-run fifth inning, which handed the D-backs a 7-2 advantage. Drury, who went 1-for-4, plated Castillo while Segura, 1-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt, brought home Drury, the latter coming with two outs. Segura is batting .325 over his last nine games.

THE BAD

In each of the first three innings, Ray allowed the leadoff batter to reach base safely. The third one scored. It was Travis d’Arnaud who crossed home plate via Reyes’ single to center field that got the Mets on the board with their first run. Ray’s throwing error contributed to the run. Trying to force d’Arnaud out at second base on Colon’s sacrifice bunt, Ray’s throw went high and off Segura’s glove on into center. Three pitches later, d’Arnaud scored.

Earlier this season, Colon recorded his first career home run. Monday, he recorded his first career walk. He took first base after a seven-pitch at-bat which extended the fourth inning for Reyes, who made Ray pay with a two-out, two-strike single to left field that scored d’Arnaud, cutting the D-backs’ lead in half, 4-2. But back to Colon. On May 7, he became the oldest player (42 years, 349 days) to hit his first major league home run. The walk came on his 282nd plate appearance.

Whatever has been ailing the D-backs’ bullpen finally reached Steve Hathaway. Called upon to protect an 8-2 lead in the seventh inning, he failed to retire any of the three batters he faced. Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker opened the frame with back-to-back base hits. Jay Bruce then walked to load the bases. All three batters eventually scored, ending Hathaway’s consecutive scoreless streak at seven appearances covering 7.1 innings.

STAT OF THE GAME

8-for-21, 10 RBI: The D-backs’ batting with runners in scoring position. Three of those hits came in the first inning.

HE SAID IT

“Offense was outstanding. They kept coming,” Hale said. “It’s something that we talked about in spring training. It’s great to see. We talked about that, try score every inning, so it was very impressive.”

NOTED

– Ray walked the first batter after issuing zero free passes over seven innings in his last start.

– Segura was hit for the 10th time this season.

– The D-backs turned three double plays, including one in each of the first two innings of the game.

– It’s the 12th time this season the D-backs have scored seven or more runs at home, going 8-4 in those outings.

– Wearing their home white uniforms with black gradient “A” cap, the D-backs improved to 4-7.

– With a first-pitch temperature of 107 degrees, the roof and panels were closed for the game.

UP NEXT

Just like Ray, Braden Shipley will get his second look in as many starts against the Mets when he takes the mound in Game 2 of the three-game series on Tuesday.

Shipley will be opposed by fellow right-hander Noah Syndergaard.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

Shipley (2-1) beat the Mets five days ago with seven innings of shutout baseball. He allowed just three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in the D-backs’ 9-0 victory, which also saw him become the second pitcher in franchise history with a RBI and a stolen base in the same game, joining Joe Saunders, who did so on Sept. 4, 2010, against the Astros.

Over his past three starts, Shipley’s ERA is an impressive 0.95 (2 ER in 19.0 IP), while opponents have hit only .182 (12-for-66) against the 24-year-old.

Meanwhile, Syndergaard (9-7) was on the wrong end of that 9-0 outcome, working five innings with three runs given up on a season-high tying eight hits. It was his second straight loss.

Syndergaard, who will be making his third career appearance against the D-backs, has not visited the win column since July 3, a span of six starts.

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