NEW YORK -- Opposing ballparks have been a home away from home for Tyler Chatwood this season, and on Friday night at Citi Field that trend continued as the right-hander dominated the Mets to lead the Rockies to a 6-1 victory.
Chatwood allowed just one run on three hits -- a James Loney home run in the second -- while walking four and striking out four. In nine road starts this season, he is 6-0 with a 1.30 ERA, which is the best road ERA in the National League. He also is the first pitcher in Rockies history to win his first six road decisions in a season.
"It just happens to be that way this year," Chatwood said. "My two-seamer has got a little more depth on the road, which is big for me. That's the pitch I throw the most. It helps to have that. Overall, it's executing pitches, and I haven't executed at home as I have on the road."
The Rockies have now won eight of their last nine -- with their starting pitchers posting a 1.74 ERA -- while the Mets have lost four of their last five. With the Cardinals beating the Marlins, New York is now 2 1/2 games back for the second NL Wild Card spot, while Colorado has crawled to within five games.
"We want to be playing after the regular season is over -- that's how we're thinking this year," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Carlos Gonzalez staked Chatwood to an early lead with an RBI double in the first that extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Nick Hundley gave the Rockies a 2-1 lead in the sixth with an RBI single, and Mark Reynolds added some insurance in the eighth with his 11th home run of the season. Gonzalez landed the knockout blow in the ninth with a three-run blast off Antonio Bastardo that Statcast™ projected at 448 feet after the Mets intentionally walked Nolan Arenado.
Steven Matz surrendered a season-high 10 hits over six innings while striking out five, but he managed to limit the damage to two runs in a losing effort.
"I would think it's fun to be a pitcher and go out there without your best stuff and battle really hard against a very good offensive team, and look up when you're coming out in the sixth inning and see it's only 2-1," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "You have to be pretty happy with that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Finding control just in time: Chatwood gave up the Loney homer to lead off the second, then pitched himself into a mess. With two outs and one on, Chatwood threw balls on 11 of his next 13 pitches. He walked Michael Conforto on four pitches, Matz on six and fell behind Curtis Granderson 3-0. But after a called strike, Chatwood enticed Granderson to swing at a high 93-mph fastball and pop to short to end the threat. From there until he departed after seven innings, Chatwood yielded just two baserunners and erased one on a double-play grounder.
"I think I was trying to make the pitch, instead of just letting it happen," Chatwood said of losing the strike zone. "After that, I just settled down and found a groove."
Ducks on the pond: The Mets had their chances to put some additional runs on the board, but were spurned by a familiar nemesis. In eight at-bats with runners in scoring position, the Mets went hitless. New York is now hitting .202 with runners in scoring position, the lowest average in the Major Leagues. The only team in Major League history to have a worse average for a full season is the 1969 Padres. More >
Oberg owning the Mets: A day after spurning the Mets after replacing Jake McGee with no outs and the bases loaded in the Rockies' 2-1 victory Thursday, righty Scott Oberg bailed McGee out again. McGee gave up singles to Alejandro De Aza and Granderson to open the eighth, then Oberg needed just three pitches for a Travis d'Arnaud groundout, a Yoenis Cespedes popup and a Loney groundout. More >
Got your back: Matz seemed to be scuffling in the fifth, allowing back-to-back singles to Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu to start the frame. In the ensuing at-bat, Arenado stepped to the plate and lined a soft line drive to Loney, who made the catch, scurried and then dived to tag LeMahieu to record an unassisted double play. Matz then got Gonzalez to strike out swinging on five pitches to hang a zero in what looked like a troubling inning.
"We all believe in ourselves. We had a rough first half but we hung in there. Things are getting better, things are looking better." -- Gonzalez, whose homer was his 21st of the season
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Loney's homer was the first that Chatwood had yielded in 49 1/3 road innings this season. It was the fifth-longest such streak in club history, behind Aaron Cook (78 innings in 2006), Ubaldo Jimenez (59 1/3 in 2010), Jhoulys Chacin (56 2/3 in '13) and John Thomson (51 2/3 innings in 1997).
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (6-7, 5.70 ERA), who has a 3.61 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings since rejoining the starting rotation on June 14, will start for the Rockies against the Mets on Saturday at 5:10 p.m. MT. A victory would put the Rockies at .500 for the first time since May 21. They haven't been .500 after the All-Star break since 2010.
Mets:Bartolo Colon (9-5, 3.35 ERA) will start on three days' rest when the Mets and Rockies continue their four-game series at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m. ET. In five career starts pitching on three days' rest -- the last time coming in 2005 -- the right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.29 ERA. New Hall of Famer Mike Piazza will have his No. 31 retired by the Mets in a pregame ceremony.
Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Mets on Friday.