Summoned from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace the injured Juan
Lagares, Nieuwenhuis had three hits, including a home run, and drove
in three runs to make his return to the major leagues in New York's
9-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Tuesday.
"It felt good," Nieuwenhuis said. "It's just good to get some of the
firsts out of the way. I don't care how many times you come up and
down, you still get butterflies. You still get a little bit
Nieuwenhuis singled in the final run in the Mets' three-run first
inning, and he hit a two-run homer two batters into a six-run third
for a quick 9-0 lead off Arizona right-hander Bronson Arroyo (1-1).
"Definitely trying to be shorter and more compact," Nieuwenhuis said
of a batting approach he adopted in the offseason. "It's something I
want to keep repeating. Consistency is the name of the game up here,
so that's the goal."
Mets right-hander Jenrry Mejia (2-0) gave up two singles in five
scoreless innings before leaving when a blister tore on the middle
finger of his pitching hand.
Left fielder Eric Young Jr. had three hits, drove in two runs and
scored twice for the New York (7-7), which reached .500 for the
first time this season.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy and third baseman David Wright
added two hits apiece, and right fielder Andrew Brown had two RBIs.
The Mets were aggressive from the start against Arroyo, who was 8-3
against them in his career entering the game. They used only 17
pitches to score three runs in the first inning, an approach manager
Terry Collins endorsed.
"We know he pounds the strike zone, and the one thing we didn't want
to do was fall behind and let him work us to depth with all his
off-speed stuff," Collins said. "It was a good night for us
offensively, for sure."
Arroyo gave up 10 hits and nine runs in 3 1/3 innings as the
Diamondbacks fell to 4-13, tying the 1998 expansion team for the
worst start in franchise history.
Arizona starters have two quality starts this season, and the
rotation owns a major-league-high 7.82 ERA. The Diamondbacks have
been outscored by 45 runs.
"I expected a bit more patience against that club, but I've pitched
well against them in the past, and maybe they just wanted to change
things up," Arroyo said.
"Quickly it was three-nothing, and that is just exactly what we
couldn't have on this ball club right now. It kills the morale of a
team when you are losing constantly, and especially when you are
giving runs up a lot. It just grew from there."
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt had one of three Arizona singles, the
only hit that got out of the infield.
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The Mets led 9-0 before the D-backs collected their first hit,
Goldschmidt's single in the fourth inning.
"It's discouraging, for sure," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.
"It's not what he expected out of his start tonight, and nobody else
did, either. But it's what happened."
Young, Murphy and Wright opened the game with singles off Arroyo
before first baseman Lucas Duda drove in the first run with a
fielder's choice grounder. Brown hit a sacrifice fly and Nieuwenhuis
capped the three-run inning with a single.
Nieuwenhuis homered after Brown singled to open a six-run sixth
inning, when the Mets had six hits and sent 11 men to the plate.
Young had a two-run single and later scored on an outfield error,
and Brown drove in the final run with a groundout.
Nieuwehuis was hitting .310 with two homers and eight RBIs at
Triple-A Las Vegas.
NOTES: Arizona manager Kirk Gibson won a challenge of a bang-bang at
first base on Diamondbacks CF A.J. Pollock's slow roller to third
base. Pollock ultimately was ruled safe for an infield single. ...
Mets CF Juan Lagares (hamstring) was placed on the 15-day disabled
list Tuesday after feeling discomfort while running out a ground
ball in the seventh inning of the Mets' 7-3 victory at Arizona on
Monday night. ... Mets RF Curtis Granderson (left rib cage, forearm,
knee contusions) did not play Tuesday after suffering his injuries
when he ran into the right field fence Monday.
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