NEW YORK (AP) — Tyler Colvin hit a tying homer off R.A. Dickey in the fifth inning then made a diving play in the eighth to preserve the lead, and the Colorado Rockies beat the New York Mets 3-1 on Monday night.
Jonathan Herrera bunted for a hit in the top of the eighth and made his way around the bases with help from some inept defense to give Colorado a 2-1 lead.
Colvin’s first home run in 105 at-bats, denied the knuckleballer a chance at his 16th win and helped the Rockies to their sixth victory in eight games.
The loss dropped the Mets (57-65) into a third-place tie with Philadelphia in the NL East, 18 1-2 games behind first-place Washington.
With Michael Cuddyer the latest Colorado player to go on the disabled list, Colvin was playing first base. He made a lunging stop on pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin’s sharp grounder just inside the bag with the bases loaded and his toss to reliever Matt Belisle just beat a diving Valdespin to the bag. Valdepsin jumped up, waving his arms in disbelief, and manager Terry Collins engaged first base umpire Lance Barksdale in a prolonged discussion.
Rafael Betancourt, the Rockies’ fifth pitcher, put two runners on before getting Mike Baxter to fly out to center finishing his 24th save.
Guillermo Moscoso gave up a hit in 2 1-3 innings, Rex Brothers (7-2) allowed a hit in 1 1-3 innings and Belisle got one big out for the Rockies.
Alex White was done after four wild, but effective innings under manager Jim Tracy’s four-man rotation. He allowed three hits and two walks on 83 pitches — 46 strikes. Tracy has been limiting his pitchers to about 75 tosses a game.
The team could go back to a five-man rotation soon. Jhoulys Chacin (pectoral nerve irritation) is scheduled to make his first start since May 1 on Tuesday and Drew Pomeranz will make his next start Friday, Tracy said. Depending on how Chacin does, all five could remain.
Dickey was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, and Herrera led off the eighth with a push a bunt toward first base. Reliever Josh Edgin (1-1) tried to shovel the ball with his glove to first baseman Ike Davis but the toss went way off line and Herrera raced to second on the Mets’ first error in 10 games.
Herrera advanced to third on Chris Nelson’s sacrifice and scored on a passed ball by Kelly Shoppach, who struck out batting for Josh Thole in the seventh with a runner on first.
The Mets loaded the bases against Brothers in the bottom half, getting a runner past first for the first time since they went ahead 1-0 on Daniel Murphy’s single in the opening inning.
Baxter hit a bloop double with one out and David Wright was intentionally walked. Davis struck out then Murphy walked. Belisle relieved and Valdespin then grounded out.
Pinch-hitter Ramon Hernandez had an RBI single off Jon Rauch in the ninth to make it 3-1 and help send the Mets to their 10th loss in 14 games.
While the Mets have shifted to a six-man rotation to give extra rest to Johan Santana and Chris Young and help limit rookie Matt Harvey’s innings, Dickey will pitch on his regular schedule to give him a couple of more chances at a possible 20-win season.
The knuckleballer was coming off a rough start at Cincinnati in which he was asked to remove two bracelets and matched season highs by giving up three homers and 10 hits.
He had little trouble with the Rockies’ injury-depleted lineup. Dickey retired the first eight batters before White looped a single over the outstretched glove of a leaping Murphy, the second baseman. He gave up three hits overall and walked two in seven innings.
But a Mets offense that has averaged less than three runs a game over their previous 13 provided him with little support and he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of a tie game.
NOTES: Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez is not expected to return from Venezuela until late Tuesday night and will likely next play on Wednesday. He was placed on the bereavement list Saturday night because of the death of his grandfather. … Mets 16-year-old signee German Rosario, a SS from the Dominican Republic, took batting practice with the team. He signed a $1.75 million contract, the highest international bonus ever paid by the club. New York also agreed to contracts with Dominican 2B Franklin Correa and Venezuelan SS Miguel Patino.
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