DJ LeMahieu, Mark Reynolds lead Colorado Rockies past New York Mets

By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange  |  July 16, 2017 at 8:02 PM
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NEW YORK -- Colorado Rockies rookie right-hander Jeff Hoffman never thought he'd bat in his home state as a major leaguer before he threw a pitch. But he didn't mind the twist of fate Sunday afternoon.

DJ LeMahieu and Mark Reynolds each collected four hits and three runs as the Rockies set season highs for runs and hits in support of Hoffman, who tossed six solid innings as the Rockies routed the New York Mets 13-4 at Citi Field.

Pitching less than three hours south of his hometown, Hoffman said he was as nervous as he's ever been for a start, but the Rockies helped settle him down by batting around and scoring four runs in a first inning that ended with Hoffman striking out.

"Definitely didn't expect to hit in the first inning, but sometimes that happens, especially with an offense like this," Hoffman said with a grin.

The Rockies, who were outscored 23-5 in losing the first two games of the three-game series, nearly batted around again in the second, when they scored three more runs to chase another local product, Mets starter and Long Island native Steven Matz.

"It was nice to see -- the guys have been done for a while, so to get off to that kind of start was really nice to see," Hoffman said. "It was a kind of a relief. I just went out and threw strikes and tried to attack the zone."

Hoffman, a native of Latham, N.Y., who was pitching in front of more than 30 family members and friends, allowed four runs, seven hits and one walk while striking out three in six innings. He threw 91 pitches, 60 for strikes.

Hoffman (6-1) didn't have a 1-2-3 inning but wriggled out of trouble in each of the first three frames, when New York put the leadoff runner on each time yet didn't score.

"Every start he makes, it's a learning experience," Rockies manager Bud Black said of Hoffman, who was making his 16th career start. "Pitching in front of a lot of family and friends, that's different when it's a big league game. And he can check that box, that he's done that. And he'll be -- I don't want to say better-prepared, but he'll understand what that's all about next time he comes back to New York."

LeMahieu singled and Reynolds doubled during a four-run first inning that featured a two-run single by Ian Desmond, who was activated from the disabled list prior to the game, and a two-run double by Trevor Story.

Matz (2-3) was chased after allowing the first four batters he faced to reach base in the second, when LeMahieu singled immediately before Nolan Arenado launched a three-run homer. Reynolds then singled to finally end the shortest start of Matz's career and the shortest start by a Mets starter this season.

Matz was charged with the seven runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out two.

"I feel like I wasn't really sharp today," Matz said. "I was leaving balls right over the middle of the plate and they were hitting it."

The Rockies extended their lead to 9-0 in the fourth, when LeMahieu laced a leadoff double and scored on Reynolds' one-out single. Reynolds scored on a sacrifice fly by Gerardo Parra.

LeMahieu capped his fourth four-hit game of the season with a double leading off the sixth.

The Mets pulled within 9-3 on a solo homer by Lucas Duda in the fourth inning, a two-run blast by Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the sixth by Jose Reyes. The Rockies answered with a pair of two-run homers by Charlie Blackmon in the seventh and Gerardo Parra in the eighth.

Reynolds collected a fourth hit for the second time this season and the fifth time in his career in the eighth when he singled two batters before Parra's blast.

Blackmon, Arenado, Desmond, Parra and Story all had two hits apiece for the Rockies (53-41), who finished with 18 hits, including 10 for extra bases. Colorado, which has won just six of its last 21 games, is 5 1/2 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the race for the National League's second wild card.

"I thought our at-bats today were really sound," Black said. "Really well-played game by us."

Jay Bruce had two hits for the Mets (41-48), who fell 9 1/2 games behind the Rockies.

"It's always good when you win the series," Cabrera said. "You have to come and start (to) win series and play good baseball."

NOTES: To make room on the 25-man roster for IF/OF Ian Desmond, the Rockies placed RHP Tyler Chatwood (right calf strain) on the 10-day disabled list. Chatwood started Saturday but got just one out while battling an injury he suffered while warming up in the bullpen. ... Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Mets LF Yoenis Cespedes (hip), who was injured trying to make a sliding catch Saturday, did not play. Manager Terry Collins said Cespedes should be back Monday. ... Mets IF T.J. Rivera extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

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