NEW YORK -- With the second half of the season officially underway, the Mets turned to the lone unscathed member of their starting rotation. Jacob deGrom, the highlight over the past month or so, did not disappoint.
deGrom's fantastic outing, coupled with an offensive outburst, gave the Mets a 14-2 win over the Rockies on Friday night at Citi Field.
deGrom won his sixth start in a row and 10th of the season, allowing two runs (one earned) over eight innings. After allowing a run in the first, he retired 14 in a row and finished with 11 strikeouts. It was the seventh double-digit strikeout effort from deGrom this season and 17th of his career. He has a 1.53 ERA in his past six outings.
"Jake's on a roll right now," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The team is comfortable when he pitches. They know he's gonna get us deep into games, and I think it leads to increased offense."
The Mets teed off on Rockies starter Jon Gray, who could not record an out in the third and was hooked for eight runs. Trailing 1-0 entering the second, the Mets took the lead on a deGrom bloop single before posting six runs in the third to chase Gray and turn the evening's proceedings into a rout.
"Jon really couldn't string any at-bats together and pitches together to get out of trouble," Rockies manager Bud Black said.
T.J. Rivera stayed hot by clubbing a solo shot to lead off the fourth, and he finished with three RBIs in a bid to maintain his current status as an everyday player. Michael Conforto, fresh off his first All-Star Game appearance, drove an opposite-field, three-run home run to make it 12-2 in the seventh. Yoenis Cespedes, who entered the game hitting .133 over his past 11 contests, finished 4-for-6 with a double and an outfield assist.
The Rockies have now lost 14 of their past 19 games.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado came out of the game in the fifth inning, when the score was 9-1. Arenado fell on his hip after rounding first base in the first inning, but he stayed in the game. Black said the decision to take him out later was just precautionary, and Arenado is expected to be available to play Saturday.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Any way you can get 'em:Lucas Duda led off the second by dunking a single into shallow left before Jose Reyes ripped a double down the right-field line. Travis d'Arnaud plated Duda on a slow grounder to third, and deGrom followed with a bloop single that gave the Mets a permanent lead.
Thriller in the third: Gray allowed the first six Mets batters in the third inning to reach, prompting his exit. Rivera roped a two-run double to right-center, and Asdrubal Cabrera's two-out single scored two more. The Mets sent 11 batters to the plate and recorded six hits, with two walks, before the Rockies could escape the inning.
"It's always nice to get the second half kicked off on a good start," Rivera said. "Sometimes you get a day off and you can stay in that rhythm, but four days is tough. I think everybody felt comfortable and that's good to see. You just want to keep that rolling."
"It's one game, against a guy who was on." -- Black
UNDER REVIEW DJ LeMahieu appeared to just beat Cespedes' laser from left field to home plate in the sixth inning on a Gerardo Parra sac fly until the Mets challenged the safe call on the field. Replay showed that Travis d'Arnaud tagged LeMahieu's back foot before his front foot slid across home plate, ending the sixth inning and resulting in an assist for Cespedes.
The reversal made Collins 15-9 on challenges this season. The review lasted one minute, 20 seconds.
ADDITIONAL NETTING ADDED
Fans seated down the first- and third-base lines arrived to extended netting that now covers the length of the dugouts on both sides. The precaution is another added measure to ensure fan safety.
"I think fan safety is, right now with all of the things that are happening, should be very, very high," Collins said. "I will tell you that when my family comes to the game, home or away, they don't ever sit in the open. Those balls are too fast. These guys hit the ball too hard. … I think it's a tremendous move that we made to put that netting up."
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Right-hander Tyler Chatwood (6-10, 4.42 ERA), who has a 0.53 ERA in three career starts at Citi Field, gets the start for the Rockies in the middle game of the weekend series on Saturday at 5:10 p.m. MT on MLB.TV.
Mets: The Mets will try and secure a series win and will trot Seth Lugo (3-2, 4.59 ERA) to the mound opposite Chatwood. It will be the right-hander's second start at home this season. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET on MLB.TV.