NEW YORK (AP) — Throughout their history, the Colorado Rockies have often had trouble pitching well and winning just about anywhere but back home at Coors Field.
Chad Bettis and his teammates are changing that reputation.
Bettis tossed seven smooth innings, Nolan Arenado homered off the big apple at Citi Field and Colorado shut down the slumping New York Mets in a 2-0 victory Saturday night.
“Chad just followed along the string of good starts,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “When that happens, you’re going to win most of the time. So that’s the challenge, that’s the expectation for our group.”
Pinch-hitter David Dahl gave the Rockies an insurance run with a two-out RBI single off Robert Gsellman in the ninth, though left fielder Yoenis Cespedes threw out a runner at the plate on the play.
Adam Ottavino and Wade Davis finished a crisp six-hitter that took just under 2½ hours, sealing Colorado’s season-best fourth straight win.
“I felt like I had good command of stuff at times, but it wasn’t where I felt like I had everything clicked in and locked in and ready to go,” Bettis said. “It was good. I thought we made some great plays out there.”
Despite a solid outing by Steven Matz (1-3), the staggering Mets fell to 0-5 on their six-game homestand and 5-12 since a 12-2 start. They’ve been shut out in three of their past four games and have gone 45 innings without holding a lead.
“Nobody can really say if we’re in trouble or not at this point in the season,” rookie manager Mickey Callaway said. “I think in baseball these spurts happen. I think we have to stick with our processes and our routines. That’s the way to counteract what’s happening.”
Bettis (4-1) allowed six hits in the latest fine performance by a Rockies pitcher and was helped in the sixth when Todd Frazier lined into an inning-ending double play with two on. Besides that, New York rarely threatened.
The right-hander, who returned last season after being treated for testicular cancer, improved to 4-1 with a 1.35 ERA in five road starts this year.
“It’s awesome to see him back healthy,” Arenado said. “He’s extremely competitive and he wants to do his job. He knows he can do it.”
Colorado is 14-8 away from Coors Field — the most road wins in the majors.
Rockies starters have a 1.61 ERA in the last 10 games overall.
“They’ve been carrying us,” Arenado said.
Ottavino overcame a leadoff walk when Jay Bruce flied out to the warning track, ending the eighth with a runner at second. Davis, who barely held on for a shaky save Friday night, worked a 1-2-3 ninth this time for his 13th save in 14 chances.
Matz permitted three hits over six innings, his longest start since last July. His only blemish came in the first, when Arenado launched a solo shot that landed on the Home Run Apple housed beyond the 408-foot sign in straightaway center field.
“Pretty cool,” Arenado said with a grin. “I didn’t think I had that power to do that.”
It was his third home run in nine at-bats against Matz.
“Hit it as good as I could,” said Arenado, who has four home runs in four games this month.
Matz struck out five and walked one in the lefty’s first start since April 25. His turn in the rotation was skipped Tuesday because of back stiffness.
“That was very encouraging,” Callaway said.
Colorado has hit a major league-high 31 of its NL-best 44 homers on the road.
ARMED AND READY
Cespedes has 67 career outfield assists, most in the majors since he arrived in 2012.
Rockies: Gold Glove and All-Star 2B DJ LeMahieu (strained right hamstring) is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list Tuesday. “It’s going to be close,” Black said. “If it’s not Tuesday, it shouldn’t be too far after that.”
Mets: Jacob deGrom (3-0, 1.87 ERA) threw a bullpen and is all set to make his scheduled start Monday night in Cincinnati. “Felt great,” Callaway said. “No issues whatsoever.” The right-hander, who has tossed 18 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings, exited Wednesday’s outing against Atlanta with a hyperextended pitching elbow that flared up when he swung and missed. That gave the Mets a major scare, but tests and exams came back clean. Callaway said deGrom can bunt but will be told not to swing Monday. “Obviously, he’s very important to us,” Callaway said. ... RHP Anthony Swarzak (strained left oblique) played catch without pain for the first time since getting hurt March 31, according to Callaway. Swarzak will travel Sunday to the team’s complex in Florida to begin ramping up his rehab program. “Time frame with him, there’s no telling,” Callaway said.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (1-4, 4.24 ERA) pitches Sunday as Colorado tries for a three-game sweep and a 6-3 trip. A native of Denver, he is 0-3 with a 5.57 ERA in four road starts this season and hasn’t won away from Coors Field since July 30, 2017, at Washington.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 3.10) gave up three first-inning runs Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to Atlanta. He allowed 10 hits, matching a career high, and struck out a season-low three in six innings. Syndergaard hasn’t faced Colorado since July 31, 2016.