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DENVER — Jacob deGrom finished unfulfilled in his flirtation with history Saturday, but his Mets teammates arrived bearing another kind of gift.
For a change, a dominant deGrom outing ended with smiles for the Mets, who rallied for two runs in the seventh inning to beat the Rockies, 4-3, in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Coors Field.
Francisco Lindor’s RBI single against Josh Bard in the seventh brought in the go-ahead run on a day when deGrom struck out 14 batters. That included nine straight, from the second through fourth innings: one short of the MLB record established by Tom Seaver on April 22, 1970, against the Padres.
The Rockies scored three runs against the right-hander in the fifth, but all were unearned following Jeff McNeil’s throwing error. DeGrom allowed three hits over six innings, and his ERA dropped to 0.45. Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for the save.
DeGrom was pitching on six days’ rest following consecutive games the Mets had postponed because of weather. That included Friday’s series opener against the Rockies, which got postponed because of wintry conditions.
In his previous start, against the Marlins at Citi Field, deGrom took the loss after allowing one run over eight innings with 14 strikeouts.
The Mets rallied in the seventh Saturday to take the lead. Jonathan Villar stroked a pinch-hit double against Bard, allowing Albert Almora Jr. to sneak in with the tying run just ahead of the tag at the plate. After Brandon Nimmo singled, Lindor delivered the go-ahead single — his biggest hit since joining the Mets.
Pete Alonso’s homer leading off the sixth against Mychal Givens sliced the Mets’ deficit to 3-2. The blast was Alonso’s second of the season, and the Mets’ first extra-base hit of the game.
DeGrom struck out Josh Fuentes for the first out of the second inning, then fanned the next eight before Fuentes reached on McNeil’s throwing error leading off the fifth. The nine straight strikeouts were a career-best for deGrom, whose previous high was eight.
After deGrom whiffed Sam Hilliard in the fifth — the right-hander’s 10th strikeout in 11 batters faced — an avalanche ensued. Dom Nunez smashed an RBI triple off the right-field fence and Yonathan Daza’s sacrifice fly put the Mets in a 2-1 hole. Raimel Tapia followed with a homer just inside the right-field foul pole. All three runs in the inning were unearned, due to McNeil’s error.
The Rockies’ only early semblance of life against deGrom came in the second inning, when Charlie Blackmon stroked a leadoff double and C.J. Cron walked. But deGrom then began his strikeout streak by blowing away Fuentes.
DeGrom’s single leading off the third led to the Mets taking a 1-0 lead. Nimmo bunted deGrom to second before Alonso delivered a two-out RBI single.
The Mets received consecutive singles from Michael Conforto and J.D. Davis to begin the fourth against Chi Chi Gonzalez, but failed to extend their lead after James McCann hit into a double play. DeGrom was then retired, leaving Conforto stranded at third base.
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