Murphy has big hit after Gray lifted, Mets beat Rockies 4-2
NEW YORK (AP) The new-look New York Mets are even inspiring their injured captain.
David Wright watched from Florida as Daniel Murphy drove in two runs with a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, and the Mets rallied for a 4-2 victory over Colorado on Monday night after top Rockies pitching prospect Jon Gray was lifted after six innings.
Between at-bats in his first minor league rehab game, Wright sneaked some peaks at the Mets' game on TV in the clubhouse at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.
''I saw Murphy's big two-run single,'' Wright said. ''It fires me up.''
Wright has been out since April 15, and when he returns, he'll find a clubhouse brimming with confidence. Even his manager senses the difference in a team that has won eight of 10 after making several trades before the non-waiver deadline on July 31.
''It's one of those games that probably a year ago we don't win that game,'' Terry Collins said.
The Mets wasted three-run leads in two straight losses to Tampa Bay last weekend, then went ahead against Colorado on Travis d'Arnaud's first homer since June 20. It was the only hit for the NL East leaders off Gray, the hard-throwing right-hander making his second major league start.
But Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run shot in the fourth off Jonathon Niese (7-9), reaching to the outside corner and sending a drive the opposite way to left-center with DJ LeMahieu aboard. It was Gonzalez's 13th long ball since the All-Star break.
The Mets loaded the bases against Justin Miller (1-1) in the seventh after Gray, the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2013, was pulled after 75 pitches. The rookie is on a strict innings and pitch limit as the Rockies look ahead to 2016 for the budding ace, manager Walt Weiss said.
''Haven't seen a guy pitching for a while the way he pitched today,'' Gonzalez said. ''He showed up today with no emotion. Really concentrated on pitching in a big city against a team who is in first place. Just the way he handled himself, that was unbelievable.''
Miller gave up a single to d'Arnaud, walked Michael Conforto and then Ruben Tejada as well with two outs. Boone Logan entered and hit Curtis Granderson with a full-count pitch to tie it.
Murphy then grounded a single past diving shortstop Jose Reyes, the former Mets star recently acquired in the trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto, for a 4-2 lead.
''It was good at-bat after good at-bat,'' Murphy said.
New York improved to 39-18 at Citi Field this season, beating the Rockies at home for a seventh straight time.
The Mets entered Monday with a 1 1/2-game lead over Washington thanks to some help from the Rockies, who rallied for two wins against the Nationals this past weekend.
Niese gave up six hits and two runs without walking a batter in seven innings. It was the 11th time in 12 starts that he went at least six innings.
Tyler Clippard pitched a perfect eighth and Jeurys Familia notched his 31st save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
''It's a lot of fun right now,'' Murphy said. ''Those (new) guys have fit in perfectly with us. They've helped take our game to a whole new level.''
Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon was out of the starting lineup. Weiss said Blackmon has been playing with a minor ankle injury, but it's not serious. He entered in a double switch during the seventh inning.
Mets: Wright (spinal stenosis) went 1 for 3 with a walk. He served as the DH for Class A St. Lucie. If all goes well, he'll play third base Tuesday. ... Mets rookie LHP Steven Matz (lat strain) is scheduled to throw 25 pitches in a rehab start for St. Lucie on Saturday.
For much of the top of the seventh, the only two players in the Mets' dugout were Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom. The two pitchers spent much of the inning comparing bats.
NORTH OF THE BORDER
Weiss said he has texted with star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki since he was traded to Toronto. ''All of a sudden, I've become very interested in Toronto Blue Jay scores,'' Weiss said.
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin is looking for his first win since June 21, a span of seven starts and eight appearances. The 28-year-old Rusin is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA on the road.
Mets: Harvey is coming off seven scoreless innings at Miami. He hasn't walked a batter in 20 2-3 innings.