Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2
Since taking over as Arizona's manager Kirk Gibson has preached building confidence, from winning games down to having a good at-bat, a good swing.
Now the Diamondbacks really have something to build on: a winning streak, their first under the interim skipper.
Barry Enright pitched eight effective innings and had his first career RBI on a nubber to third, helping the Diamondbacks beat the wobbling New York Mets 3-2 Tuesday night to give Gibson consecutive wins for the first time as manager.
''We have a great team here,'' Enright said. ''To go out there and win a few close ones, get a blowout like yesterday and win today, hopefully we can string a few together.''
Enright (2-2) did his part on the mound, retiring 14 straight hitters after escaping a tight spot in the first inning and struck out a career-high eight. He also helped with his bat, ticking the ball just enough to send it slowly whirling just inside the line for his first career hit and the eventual winning run.
''That ball was scorched,'' he said sarcastically.
The game-winner was a spinner, but Justin Upton had a little more oomph in hitting his 16th homer off R.A. Dickey (6-4) and Gerardo Parra hit a run-scoring triple to give Arizona its first winning streak at home since beating San Francisco and Toronto twice each from May 19-22.
In a season-long struggle to find anything positive, this could be just what the Diamondbacks need.
''We've played, in our last four games, very hard,'' Gibson said. ''We've pushed hard to get runs, keep pushing, keep pushing, getting contributions from many guys, and we feel we if can continue to do that we'll win some more games.''
New York didn't get many contributions from anyone.
The Mets whiffed through a huge opportunity in the first inning and had just six hits overall in failing to score more than four runs for the 11th straight game, their longest streak since 2004.
Josh Thole hit his first career homer off Enright in the eighth inning and Angel Pagan hit another solo shot off Juan Gutierrez in the ninth, but the right-hander closed out his third save in five chances to send New York to its eighth loss in 10 games.
''You kind of expect a little bit better output then we got today,'' Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.
The Mets needed innings out of Dickey after Mike Pelfrey put a strain on the bullpen with a career-shortest outing that lasted four outs and 13 batters.
Dickey had a solid previous start - one run and five hits in seven innings - only to be outdueled by Tim Lincecum in a 2-0 loss.
The right-hander gave New York the innings, just not results.
Dickey left a knuckler up in the third inning and Upton hit it out to center for a solo homer, then Parra added a run in the fourth with a run-scoring triple that sailed over Carlos Beltran's head after the center fielder took a first step in. Enright made it 3-0 squibber.
Dickey allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings to extend his winless streak to five starts.
''I felt it was an outing that we fought tooth and nail and I gave our guys a chance to win,'' Dickey said.
The Diamondbacks didn't get a lot off Dickey, but it was all they needed against New York's not-hitting-nine.
The Mets finally had their lineup together Monday night against the Diamondbacks, getting David Wright, Jose Reyes, Luis Castillo and Beltran on the field together for the first time since May 20, 2009.
Didn't do them any good. New York fell behind early and never mounted a rally, continuing a weak-hitting trend by going 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
The Mets didn't even get many chances against Enright.
New York had the bases loaded with one out against him in the first inning and came away with nothing; Enright got Ike Davis to swing through a high fastball for a strikeout, then Jason Bay on a breaking ball to end the inning.
After that, Enright was just right, sitting down the Mets in a row until Reyes led off the sixth inning with a single. He was quickly erased with a double play and the D-backs turned another in the seventh, contributing to another frustrating night at the plate for the Mets.
''Maybe the young pitcher had something to do with it, too,'' Manuel said. ''He threw some sharp breaking balls for strikes that we didn't seem to have a good feel for it. I believe that this lineup can get it done.
Notes: Mets LHP Oliver Perez joined the team in Arizona and was taken off the DL on Tuesday. He's been out since June 5 with right knee tendinitis. ... Arizona won its first series win since taking two of three at Tampa from June 25-27... New York hasn't scored first in six games since the All-Star break.