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Francisco Alvarez’s blast not enough as Mets drop series finale to Rockies

DENVER — For the second day in a row, Francisco Alvarez hit a massive, three-run blast against the Colorado Rockies. And for the second day in a row, the two teams knotted things up at 6-6 before the Mets collapsed.

Tylor Megill allowed six runs (four earned) and Stephen Nogosek (0-1) gave up the go-ahead run plus four more to the Rockies in the Mets’ 11-10 loss in the series finale Sunday at Coors Field. The Mets (27-27) dropped the series 2-1, their second straight after going 1-2 against the Chicago Cubs on this six-game road trip, and their second this month to Colorado (24-30).

Francisco Lindor homered off right-hander Peter Lambert (1-1) in the seventh and Tommy Pham (3-for-4, four RBI) hit a two-run triple off right-hander Justin Lawrence in the ninth inning to cut the Colorado lead to 11-9 before scoring on a groundout by Brett Baty. But the Mets’ second comeback effort fell short when Lawrence induced a grounder to Eduardo Escobar to end it.

“They kept competing,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We got the tying run to the plate again and I’m proud of them. We’ve got some things we need to clean up in some areas and we’ll start that again Tuesday.”

The Mets gave up 20 runs over the weekend in Colorado, and while Coors Field might be a notoriously tough place to pitch, the Rockies don’t typically average this many runs. They came into the series averaging 4.51 per game. Pitching has been the Achilles heel of the Mets all season, but the bullpen hasn’t been the issue. However, in recent weeks the middle relief corps has had a tough time keeping the Mets in games.

Showalter is inclined to give his pitchers the benefit the doubt after pitching in the altitude.

“The mistake you make is getting down on pitchers after pitching here because it’s a tough place to pitch for everybody,” he said. “It shouldn’t surprise anybody so I think the challenge for us is to stay positive with the guys who have struggled here.”

Nogosek has now given up 13 runs over his last 11 and 2/3 innings. Drew Smith, who gave up two in Saturday’s loss, has given up five in his last four innings.

“It sucks, it’s brutal and this one really hurts,” Nogosek said. “But I’ve got to move on and keep going.”

Megill, however, hasn’t been able to find his stride all season. He went only four innings and gave up 10 hits and two walks. The Mets scored six in the top of the fourth to up 6-2, but a two-out rally by the Rockies resulted in four runs and the end of Megill’s day.

Megill didn’t factor into the decision after Nogosek’s blowup in the fifth. With one out, Nogosek gave up two doubles to the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters to put the Rockies ahead once again. Leadoff man Charlie Blackmon then took him deep to make it 9-6.

“It’s definitely frustrating, but I can’t dwell on it,” the right-handed starter said. “I’ve just got to go out and keep working and build that consistency. Have a good outing, build that consistency, go back out there and do it again and again.”

Nogosek got Jurickson Profar out but then walked Kris Bryant and gave up another bomb to Ryan McMahon, who tormented the Mets all weekend with homers in all three games. McMahon only had four coming into the series.

Starling Marte played center field for the first time this season with the Mets opting to DH Brandon Nimmo in order to lighten his workload for a day. There was a lack of hustle in some early innings, with Marte letting runners go first to third twice. He also failed to run out a fly ball in the fifth that resulted in a go-ahead double by Austin Wynns. Marte was playing shallow and the ball went nearly to the warning track gap and the speedy outfielder barely missed catching it on the run.

It was a disappointing finish after a huge comeback by the Mets in the fourth inning. Pete Alonso doubled off left-hander Austin Gomber to lead off, Starling Marte walked and Pham cleared the bases with a double to tie the game 2-2. Mark Canha walked before Escobar put the Mets ahead 3-2 with a single to left. Alvarez then took Gomber back 420 feet to give the Mets a 6-2 lead.

“It could have been a tough day for him,” Showalter said. “Nobody told him he was supposed to be tired.”

Alvarez extended his hitting streak to eight games and hit his eighth home run of the season and fifth in eight games. He’s driven in 19 runs in 33 games. The 21-year-old catcher has been a boon to the Mets’ offense since the start of May.

It’s tough not to look at Alvarez as an NL Rookie of the Year candidate right now. The additions of Alvarez and rookies Brett Baty and Mark Vientos have sparked the offense. But it’s also obvious that the Mets have not been able to put the pitching and the hitting together on a daily basis.

At the unofficial Memorial Day benchmark of the season, the Mets are at .500, but if you ask them, they’re capable of more.

“We’re a better team than what our record is right now,” said outfielder Brandon Nimmo. “I think that this is going to take putting the pitching and the hitting together and we’ll have better results.”

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Source: Berkshire mont

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