NEW YORK -- Nick Pivetta officially used up his rookie eligibility status Sunday afternoon, when the Philadelphia Phillies right-hander appropriately took a big step forward in his major-league development.
Pivetta bounced back from the shortest start of his career by earning the win with seven innings of one-hit ball as the Phillies routed the New York Mets 7-1 to salvage the finale of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Pivetta (2-4) carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, when he gave up a one-out homer to T.J. Rivera. He lasted seven innings for the second time in 10 starts. He finished the game with 52 innings pitched, two more than the maximum allowed to maintain rookie eligibility in future seasons, while walking four and striking out four.
Afterward, Pivetta said he wasn't thinking about a no-hitter as the game reached the middle innings.
"I knew that there were no hits in the first inning, second inning, third inning, fourth inning -- not hard to know that, it's right there on the scoreboard," Pivetta said with a grin. "I was just focused on getting a quality start in (and) helping my team win. I hung a breaking ball and he hit it out. That's why those things are so hard to do, because it's one thing. Those guys are so good at their job. You have to be perfect to do anything."
Pivetta was decidedly imperfect in his previous start last Monday, when he took the loss after allowing a career-high six runs in 2 2/3 innings as the Phillies fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-1.
"A veteran pitcher will have a bad start now and then -- they know what to do, or know how to cope with it, because they have to wait for five more days," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "A young pitcher needs to learn how to do that. And he certainly showed that he learned something from his last outing."
Pivetta said a talk in the outfield during a batting practice session earlier this week with fellow rookie pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. helped him refocus.
"There wasn't a whole lot of emphasis on (the poor start)," Pivetta said. "Just, you're a professional, go out there and do better than you did last time."
The Phillies produced all the offense they needed during an unusual four-run second inning. Mets right-hander Rafael Montero opened the inning by giving up three hits in as many pitches to Tommy Joseph (single), Nick Williams (single) and Maikel Franco (two-run double). Franco advanced to third on a bunt by Ty Kelly and scored on Andrew Knapp's single.
Knapp advanced on a sacrifice by Pivetta before scoring all the way from second on a wild pitch that Mets catcher Rene Rivera had a hard time retrieving. The race home highlighted an active week on the base paths for the rookie catcher, who recorded his first career stolen base and triple on Friday and added an infield single later Sunday.
"The way we've been playing, we need all the bases we can get," Knapp said of the Phillies (27-53), who avoided being swept for the 11th time this season.
The Phillies added three runs in the eighth on a pinch-hit RBI single by Brock Stassi and a two-run single by Daniel Nava, who finished with three hits.
Matt Reynolds singled in the eighth for the other hit by the Mets (38-43), who lost for just the second time in nine games.
Montero (1-5) allowed four runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out six in 6 1/3 innings.
"We didn't get any hits," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "(Montero) gave us a chance to get back in that game. We just didn't do it."
Outside of the second inning, the Phillies got just two runners into scoring position against Montero.
"I had one bad inning where I looked bad," Montero said through an interpreter. "After that, I did the adjustments and I ended well."
NOTES: Mets OF Curtis Granderson (hip) did not play. Granderson, one of just four Mets Opening Day starters to avoid the disabled list this season, said he still felt sore while warming up for a possible pinch-hitting appearance. He is day-to-day. ... The Mets had two hits or fewer for the third time this season. They were one-hit by the Miami Marlins on May 7 and two-hit by the Washington Nationals on April 22. ... Phillies RHP Vince Velasquez (right flexor strain) made his first rehab start Saturday, allowing one run in two innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... The Phillies played the 10th game in a 20-game span in which no consecutive games start at the same time. The Phillies aren't scheduled to start consecutive games at the same time until July 17-18 at the Marlins (7:10 p.m. ET).