d'Arnaud getting hot at right time for Mets

Catcher delivers go-ahead two-run single as part of two-hit game vs. Cubs

d'Arnaud getting hot at right time for Mets

NEW YORK -- Before the Mets' 4-3 victory over the Cubs at Citi Field on Saturday, Mets manager Terry Collins discussed the possibility of moving catcher Travis d'Arnaud up in the lineup from the No. 8 spot.

With a pair of runners on in a tie ballgame in the fourth inning, though, d'Arnaud made the most out of hitting at the bottom of the lineup by driving in the go-ahead runs with a single off reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta.

"I was just looking for a pitch to handle and put a good swing on it," d'Arnaud said. "Fortunately, it was able to find a hole and two runs were able to score."

d'Arnaud's two-out single was far from hard-hit, but a well-placed hit worked just as well. The 27-year-old catcher fought off a 94-mph sinker running inside and flared it out to shallow center field at 69 mph, according to Statcast™.

Center fielder Jason Heyward, shortstop Addison Russell and second baseman Javier Baez all gave chase, but the bloop hit dropped between all three.

Baez, who tried to make a desperation over-the-shoulder catch with his bare hand, then booted the ball, allowing Alejandro De Aza to race all the way home from first and score along with Asdrubal Cabrera to give the Mets a 4-2 lead.

d'Arnaud later added another single in the sixth for his second multihit effort in this series. Over his last eight games, he is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with five RBIs.

"I've just been slowing things down," d'Arnaud said. "It's baseball. First base is still 90 feet away, so you can't try to do too much and you just have to let the game come to you."

Collins credits some of d'Arnaud's success at the plate to the club's strategy of using him at designated hitter during his rehab assignment while he was recovering from a right rotator cuff strain.

"He's swinging better and that's the main thing," Collins said. "We made him get a lot of at-bats [before coming back here]. When he started his rehab, he [played designated hitter] for four or five days down in the Gulf Coast League just to make sure he was accumulating at-bats, and I think we are seeing the results."

The Mets skipper said early Saturday that the club wants d'Arnaud to get some more at-bats before moving up the lineup. For d'Arnaud, though, where he is slotted in the batting order is not much of a concern.

"For me, those are things I can't control," d'Arnaud said. "I just go out there and do whatever I can do to help the team win."

Regardless of where he hits, d'Arnaud has helped add some life to a struggling Mets offense that scored the fewest amount of runs in the Majors (173) in May and June.

"He certainly lengthens our lineup," said second baseman Neil Walker, who hit a two-run home run in the first inning. "He's obviously a very good catcher and he handles the bat very well. He's getting hot at the right time."

Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.