Mets ride big inning to another 14-9 win over Rox

Mets ride big inning to another 14-9 win over Rox

DENVER -- On Star Wars Night at Coors Field, the National League East-leading Mets knocked Rockies starting pitcher Chris Rusin into the Twilight Zone en route to a 14-9 victory on Saturday night. New York also beat Colorado by a 14-9 score on Friday night.

"This is how a lot of teams win pennants," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "They beat teams you're supposed to beat."

Six days after Rusin threw his first career shutout, the Mets sent him to the dugout after two innings -- plus eight non-outs to start the third -- to the tune of 11 runs on 12 hits. Among the hits off Rusin were Juan Uribe's third-inning leadoff homer, and two doubles apiece by Curtis Granderson and Travis d'Arnaud.

"It felt like whatever I threw up there, whatever pitch, wherever I threw it, it was going to either find a hole on the ground or land where and outfielder isn't," Rusin said. "It was just one of those days where everything just didn't go your way."

Every Mets player except Yoenis Cespedes had a hit off Rusin (4-6). But that was OK, since he greeted reliever Justin Miller with a single to complete the Mets' effort of batting around in the third before making an out. Mets starter Jon Niese (8-9) gave up seven runs, including Kyle Parker's three-run triple and Charlie Blackmon's two-run homer, in 5 1/3 innings. Yet that was good enough to keep the Mets five games ahead of the second-place Nationals.

Parker's bases-clearing triple

Parker drove in four runs, and Blackmon and Jose Reyes had consecutive homers in the sixth for the Rockies, who nonetheless have lost 10 straight to the Mets over the last two seasons.

"It tests your nerves a little bit because there's no lead that's safe," Collins said. "You saw how fast they can score. They're interesting games here, for sure."

The consecutive 14-9 losses to the Mets marked the first time the Rockies have given up 14 or more runs in consecutive games in their history. The Mets scored at least 14 in two straight games for the fifth time in their history, and first time since 2011.

Hit parade: Even by Coors Field standards, the Mets achieved something remarkable when they batted around in the third inning before recording an out. Uribe started things with a homer off Rusin, sparking a run of eight hits and a walk. Two batters after the Mets knocked Rusin out of the game, Uribe finally snapped the Mets' streak with a run-scoring double play. They plated a total of eight runs in the inning. More >

Mets' eight-run inning

Moments to forget: After shutting out the Padres on Sunday for the 13th Rockies shutout in Denver in club history (one at Mile High Stadium, the rest at Coors), Rusin reeled off some dubious records Saturday night. He gave up a club-record eight doubles, and it was the fifth game in club history in which a starter gave up at least 11 runs (Shawn Chacon holds the record with 12, and he also had one of the 11-run outings).

Rusin also became the second pitcher in the last 70 years to give up 11 runs after throwing a shutout. The other was the Blue Jays' Pat Hentgen in 1997. According to ESPN, it was the first time in the Live Ball Era that a pitcher has given up nine extra-base hits without recording at least 12 outs.

"Pitches were elevated," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Everything was down last time out."

Hundley exits after taking foul tip to mask

"My unscientific theory is that a few years ago, I remember when the state was burning with fires, and [Coors Field] played like this all summer. With the fires going on right now, I don't know if that's a factor, but I was thinking about that tonight."
-- Weiss, on why the ball could be flying around Coors Field so easily in this series

Since trade acquisitions Kelly Johnson and Uribe debuted on July 25, the Mets lead the National League in runs scored, runs per game and slugging percentage. They ranked last in the league in all three categories from Opening Day through July 24.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Mets became the second team in Major League history to win consecutive 14-9 decisions. The other team to do so was the 1934 Red Sox, who beat the St. Louis Browns and the Chicago White Sox.

All but unnoticed within the slugfest, Ruben Tejada twice made fine plays at shortstop to rob DJ LeMahieu of hits. In the third inning, Tejada dove to his right, leaped to his feet and fired a looping throw to first to steal a single from the Rockies second baseman. Four innings later, Tejada ranged to his left to rob LeMahieu, thanks in part to a pick at first base from Michael Cuddyer.

Tejada flashes the leather
Tejada's sliding stop

Mets: Logan Verrett will start the Mets' series finale in Denver, with the team skipping Matt Harvey's turn in the rotation to preserve his innings. The 4:10 p.m. ET game will also be the Mets' final game with David Wright, who is scheduled to return Monday, on the disabled list.

Rockies: After seeing their bullpen throw 14 1/3 in the first two games against the Mets, the Rockies are hoping for some kind of length -- any kind, really -- out of righty David Hale (3-4, 6.17 ERA) in the series finale with the Mets on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. MT.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.