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Kodai Senga dominates as Mets end three-game skid with win over Rockies

Brandon Nimmo did what he could to help the Mets jumpstart their scuffling offense and the Mets’ pitching staff did what they could do to make his fourth-inning home run hold up.

The Mets opened a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies with a 1-0 win behind Nimmo’s home run and six shutout innings by right-hander Kodai Senga on Friday night at Citi Field.

The win was desperately needed as the team was fresh off a sweep by the Detroit Tigers. Much like the Tigers, the Rockies are not expected to be in contention for a playoff spot, and the Mets were eager to snap their three-game skid.

“We wanted to win really bad today,” reliever Adam Ottavino said. “Kodai did a great job. We didn’t want it to be for nothing. We needed to make it stand up. Nimmo got us on the board. Sometimes, as my college coach would say, you’ve got to give up no runs. Luckily, we were able to do that today.”

Senga (4-1) came into the game with three extra days of rest. His goal was to be more pitch efficient and walk fewer hitters to allow him to go deeper into the game. He went six strong before being replaced by right-hander Drew Smith and still walked four hitters, but he got the outs he needed to finish one of the best outings he’s had so far.

“A lot of walks and a lot of balls, so a lot of things to criticize,” Senga said. “But I know we were on a bit of a losing streak, so I’m glad I was able to stop that.”

Much of the credit in this game went to the pitchers.

“Just a huge job by our pitching staff understanding that our offense is trying to find its way right now and still finding a way and shutting the door on a team that came in here kind of hot,” Nimmo said. “They did an amazing job.”

Nimmo hit his third home run of the season off left-hander Antonio Senzatela (0-1), who made his first start since tearing his ACL last summer. The Mets (17-16) came in having scored only a single run through their last 18 innings and their struggles continued against Senzatela and the rest of the Colorado staff. They managed only three hits against Senzatela and he faced only two over the minimum in five innings of work.

“He has many different pitches that move just a little bit differently than the others,” Nimmo said. “So when they do that well and they tunnel that well, it makes them hard to square up.”

The Rockies (12-21), who currently sit in last place in the NL West, nearly tied the game in the top of the eighth. David Robertson walked Jurickson Profar to lead off the inning and an errant pickoff throw by catcher Tomas Nido put two on with two out. Ryan McMahon hit one just past first base, but it hit pinch runner Brenton Doyle for the out.

It would have been the game’s first hit with runners in scoring position and Profar was well around third base by the time the call was made.

The Mets escaped with the lead intact, but the ninth inning was just as tense. Randal Grichuck singled off Ottavino and stole second. He was moved over to the third on a sacrifice bunt for the first out of the inning. Ottavino struck out Mike Moustakas and Charlie Blackmon’s flare into right field was caught by Starling Marte for the out. It was the fourth save of the season for Ottavino.

“Charlie is a great hitter. I know him really well and I knew there was a chance he’d be swinging but I wanted to come right at him right there,” Ottavino said. “He put a great swing on it and I got lucky it went straight to Marte. Worked out.”

Nimmo walked in the eighth but the Mets stranded him to end the inning and stranded five total. The Mets have produced only two runs over the last 27 innings, but the team is confident they can get out of this funk.

“They’re trying their best to put runs on the board for us and we understand that. We’re trying to put up zeroes,” Ottavino said. “We’ve had our fair share of bad performances that have led to losses, so the blame goes all around. We know that they’re going to break out soon. Those guys are really capable. I don’t think we put any extra pressure on ourselves to worry about them scoring. We always expect them to score, and if they don’t, we’ll do our best.”

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Source: Berkshire mont

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