NEW YORK -- So often when the Mets have needed a win in recent years, they have felt most comfortable giving the ball to Jacob deGrom. And the Mets needed a win in the worst way Friday, opening their homestand amidst the exhaust fumes of a seven-game losing streak.
Giving his scuffling club the exact performance it needed, deGrom delivered seven innings in a 3-0 win over the Angels at Citi Field. Rene Rivera extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single, Michael Conforto homered and Curtis Granderson doubled home a run in the Mets' first victory since May 9.
"We needed a win tonight," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We needed a win bad."
That made a tough-luck loser out of Angels starter Ricky Nolasco, who allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings. The Angels stranded seven men on base from the sixth through eighth innings, their lineup struggling without the services of injured first baseman Albert Pujols. The brightest offensive highlight for Los Angeles was Mike Trout, who reached base three times in four plate appearances.
"Oh man, it feels good," said Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, who made a juggling catch to help deGrom out of a seventh-inning jam. "Before this game, we lost seven straight games. Just to get a win and play a clean game -- that was a clean game for us -- that's what we need. Hopefully we can take something from this game and continue to play the way we're supposed to."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Streak buster: For most of the night, deGrom seemed primed to become the first Mets pitcher in 18 games to record an out in the seventh inning -- and he eventually did, but not without some serious drama. Battling a finger issue, deGrom convinced trainer Ray Ramirez and Collins that he could continue pitching while loading the bases on a double, a walk and a hit batsman. But thanks in part to a juggling catch from Reyes to save at least one run, deGrom stranded the bases loaded to preserve a 2-0 lead.
"He made some good pitches to get out of that," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We had them loaded up, and you have to tip your cap to him. All night, we didn't get too many good looks at him. He pitched a good game for those guys." More >
Doubling their margin: Two batters after Neil Walker led off the sixth inning with a single, the Mets' second baseman advanced into scoring position on a flyout to left. That prompted the Angels to intentionally walk Lucas Duda, bringing Rivera to the plate with two outs. The catcher responded with a line drive to left field to drive in Walker.
"I try not to get too caught up in it. I think it's a tremendous honor. It talks about the stability of the organization. … Certainly, I've been surrounded by some great players. … It's been an honor to be here this long, to watch it, to be a part of it all." -- Collins, on matching Davey Johnson as the longest-tenured manager in Mets history
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Reliever Jerry Blevins pitched in a fifth consecutive game for the Mets, increasing his league-leading total to 25 appearances in the Mets' first 40 games. Blevins, who struck out two of the three batters he faced, is on pace to appear in 101 games this season. That would rank second in Major League history behind Mike Marshall, who pitched in 106 of them for the 1974 Dodgers.
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: The Angels will send rookie right-hander Alex Meyer to the mound on Saturday in the second game of their three-game series against the Mets at 4:15 p.m. PT at Citi Field. Meyer delivered the best start of his career against the Tigers on Sunday, allowing one run over 6 1/3 innings while striking out seven.
Mets:Zack Wheeler will look to build upon his recent consistency when he starts the Mets' 7:15 p.m. ET game Saturday against the Angels. In four of his last five starts, Wheeler has allowed one earned run, most recently throwing a season-high 108 pitches in a no-decision against the D-backs.