NEW YORK -- Zack Greinke stuck around long enough in his first start back from the disabled list to benefit from a late burst of offense, earning the victory Tuesday in the D-backs' 5-3 win over the Mets at Citi Field.
Neil Walker gave the Mets a brief lead in the sixth inning with a two-run homer, the second of his three hits, but it did not last. Half an inning later, Michael Bourn's two-run triple capped a three-run outburst against Mets reliever Hansel Robles, who took the loss.
The Mets fell 2 1/2 games behind the Marlins, who won on Tuesday, for the second National League Wild Card spot. They haven't won consecutive games since July 6-7.
Displaying no ill effects from the left oblique strain that sidelined him starting in late June, Greinke allowed three runs in six innings, striking out six.
"Zack looked good," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "Just made a couple of mistakes in that last inning, but [he] was able to come back and get the three outs, which was huge to finish off the sixth, and then the bullpen was as impressive as we've seen it."
The D-backs stole five bases in the game and hit two solo homers, from Brandon Drury and Paul Goldschmidt. A late addition to the lineup after the D-backs scratched Yasmany Tomas due to a neck issue, Drury finished 2-for-4.
Both home runs came off Mets starter Steven Matz, who received a no-decision while matching his career high with nine strikeouts. Though Matz allowed only five hits and a walk, he worked deep into counts all evening, needing 120 pitches to complete six innings.
"Thirty pitches in the first inning killed him," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I thought after that he really settled down and started making pitches."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Triumphant return: Greinke picked up where he left off following his six weeks on the DL. The right-hander, who has a 2.78 ERA in his last 12 outings, won his eighth straight decision and showed his signature pinpoint control, throwing 64 of his 93 pitches for strikes.
"It felt good, the oblique is healthy, just building up arm strength and pitch count," Greinke said. "Got into the low 90s today and felt pretty good. Still was making pretty good pitches that last inning." More >
Similar home run, different outcome: For the second straight game, Walker gave the Mets a late lead with a two-run homer. Sunday in Detroit, his long ball proved to be the difference in a 3-1 win. This time, it proved to be short-lived.
"It's kind of like it's been one step forward and two steps back for us," said Walker, who is doing his part with a .491 average over his last 13 games. "But this is a hard time of year. This is a grind-it-out time of year. We've just got to keep going out there, keep grinding, and hope we get hot. Certainly, nights like tonight can be frustrating." More >
Two-out rally: Giving up runs with two outs has been an issue for D-backs pitchers this year, but the Arizona offense turned the tables in the decisive seventh inning. Bourn's two-run triple, which gave the D-backs a 4-3 lead, and Goldschmidt's RBI single to right both came with two away.
"Just looking for something to hit," Bourn said. "I knew we had two hits, and I was trying to come through in a big moment at a big time, and I was able to do it. Then Goldy was able to tack on another big run. It allows your pitchers to not be so wound up in the late innings."
Take a seat: When the Mets brought the potential tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, Collins made a move that would have seemed unfathomable just a few months ago. Rather than let catcher Travis d'Arnaud swing for the fences, Collins pinch-hit utility man Ty Kelly, who grounded out to end the game.
"I did want that shot, but I've got to play better," d'Arnaud said. "Terry made the right decision, and whatever he chooses to do, I support. I've just got to keep working hard, and soon I'll get out of this funk."
"This is the time of year that you have to get on a roll. April and May are months that if you don't play great, you can make up for it. I haven't been on a team that's made the playoffs that hasn't been good in August. So we're grinding it out. We're trying to get it right." -- Walker
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With one out in the ninth, Alejandro De Aza hit a chopper to third and was ruled safe on a close play at first. The D-backs challenged the play, and after a 37-second review, the call was overturned and De Aza was ruled out.
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs:Robbie Ray will try and snap a three-start losing streak when he takes the mound against the Mets on Wednesday at 4:10 p.m. MST at Citi Field. Last time out against the Nationals, Ray allowed five earned runs over six innings.
Mets:Bartolo Colon has alternated good starts with bad ones over the last six weeks, posting a 4.81 ERA overall during that stretch. Coming off a strong outing, he'll look to buck that trend when he pitches opposite Ray in a 7:10 p.m. ET.