deGrom's solid start keeps Mets alive for rally

deGrom's solid start keeps Mets alive for rally

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jacob deGrom didn't have his best stuff on Friday night, but he kept his team within striking distance in his 6 1/3 innings of work in a game the Mets would come back to win, 4-3.

deGrom, who entered the contest having surrendered no more than two extra-base hits in his previous 16 starts dating back to April 30, surrendered solo home runs by Grady Sizemore and James Loney along with a pair of doubles.

But the never-say-die Mets kept coming back throughout the night and ultimately took the lead for good with a furious, ninth-inning rally.

"It was definitely impressive. We're never out of the game and we're looking forward to getting out there and winning ballgames," said deGrom after the Mets clawed their way to a seventh consecutive victory.

deGrom conceded that he struggled early with command, but took pride in the way he battled to keep things close.

"I threw a lot of pitches early. A lot of 3-2 counts which I normally don't do and my pitch count got up pretty quick. That's not a good way to start a game. I left a couple of balls over the middle, but other than that I felt I threw the ball all right," said deGrom.

"My changeup was good. The one Sizemore hit out was actually a good pitch. He must have been sitting on one and got it. Other than that, I thought I threw the ball pretty well. I miss another spot and gave up another home run. I was fortunate enough that they were both solo home runs and I was able to keep us in that game."

Mets manager Terry Collins accentuated the positive when asked about deGrom's start, noting the reaction he received from his teammates after being lifted in the seventh.

"Jake's been pitching great. He gives up two homers and boy, the first guys there are the starting pitchers to shake his hand," said Collins.

"It was very cool to see."

Michael Kolligan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.