NEW YORK (AP) — José Peraza homered starting the third inning of the opener and followed with a tiebreaking single in the fourth inning of the second game, helping the New York Mets sweep a doubleheader from the Colorado Rockies 1-0 and 4-2 Thursday.
Marcus Stroman (4-4) ended a six-start winless streak, allowing three hits over six innings in the first game. Aaron Loup (2-0) pitched a one-hit fifth inning to win the second game.
Peraza, signed to be a reserve but pressed into everyday duty in the infield due to the Mets’ many injuries, went 2 for 4 with three RBIs in the doubleheader after hitting .156 (5 for 32) with a homer and four RBIs in his previous 11 games.
“You just have to be prepared, and that’s what I’ve been doing,” Peraza said through an interpreter. “I’m going to try to do my best so we can win every single game. At the end of the day, it’s just being prepared for your opportunity and this is what I’m doing now.”
The doubleheader sweep was the second of the season for the Mets, who have split two other twin bills. Stroman has started a game in three of New York’s doubleheaders, pitching 17 innings.
“We only have to use him and a reliever,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “So that’s a blessing to go to the second game, where you have more arms available so you can kind of be a little bit bolder earlier in that game, even though it’s a seven-inning game.”
Colorado lost three in a row after winning the series opener, falling to 3-20 with eight shutout losses on the road this year. The Rockies are 16-12 at mile-high Coors Field, where they have scored in every game.
“You’ve got to tip your hat at times to the opposing pitchers — they threw the ball well. They’ve got a good pitching staff,” manager Bud Black said after the Mets held Colorado to six runs in the series. “We had some opportunities in really, four low-scoring games, and we just couldn’t break through.”
Rockies shortstop Trevor Story left the second game in the fourth inning due to what Black said was “general tightness around the elbow,” one inning after Story made a diving stop and threw out Cameron Maybin on a grounder up the middle. Black said Story was day to day.
“His arm tightened up as the inning went on and when he got into the dugout he let Keith know,” Black said, referring to head athletic trainer Keith Dugger. “That progressed to the point where we’re going to be cautious.”
Before the doubleheader, Rojas announced right-hander Noah Syndergaard’s return from Tommy John surgery will be delayed beyond June. Syndergaard, rehabilitating from the operation on March 26 last year, had an MRI that revealed right elbow inflammation and was told not to throw for six weeks.
New York also is missing right-hander right-hander Carlos Carrasco, sidelined until late June or early July by a strained right hamstring that has kept him out since spring training.
“Right now, just being in the middle of the season, I’m looking forward to having everyone healthy at some point,” Rojas said Thursday morning.
Stroman had been 0-4 since winning in Denver on April 18. He struck out three and walked two, lowering his ERA to 2.47. Stroman pitched at least six innings for the fourth straight start and the seventh time this season.
A 2017 AL Gold Glove winner, he helped himself out in the fifth inning, when he raced to field a bunt up the third-base line and threw out Garrett Hampson by a step.
Edwin Díaz got three straight outs to remain perfect in nine save chances. New York pitched its fourth shutout this season.
Peraza’s home run, on a first-pitch slider, was one of only three hits for the Mets off Germán Márquez (3-5), who struck out eight, walked one and needed just 62 pitches for his third complete game in 117 big league starts.
It was the fewest pitches in a complete game of at least six innings since at least 1901; Pittsburgh’s Iván Nova threw 57 pitches in a 5 1/3 inning complete game for Pittsburgh against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 29, 2016.
“Just a hard-luck loss for Germán,” Black said.
Márquez pitched a two-hitter in a seven-inning complete game that beat the Mets 7-2 on April 17 and threw a one-hit, nine-inning shutout at San Francisco on April 14, 2019.
Márquez also singled in the fifth for Colorado’s second hit.
Ryan McMahon had a single and a stolen base for the Rockies.
Bill McKinney, who made his debut in the opener following his trade from Milwaukee, put the Mets ahead in the second game with a run-scoring double-play grounder in the first.
Connor Joe hit a tying single in the fourth off Drew Smith, who had just relieved Joey Lucchesi.
Peraza singled with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom half off Antonio Senzatela (1-5), scoring Billy McKinney for a 2-1 lead.
Jordan Sheffield forced in runs in the sixth with walks to Peraza and Brandon Drury after the Mets had had loaded the bases on McKinney’s walk, James McCann’s double and Patrick Mazeika getting hit by a pitch.
Robert Gsellman gave up a two-out RBI single in the seventh to Raimel Tapia. McMahon, who homered twice in the series, hit a game-ending flyout off Jacob Barnes, who got his second save.
McCann, who never played first base as a professional before starting there in Monday’s series opener, had a pair of unassisted putouts in the first inning and ranged into the hole to snare a grounder by Raimel Tapia in the third and tossed to Stroman at first, who caught the ball and stepped on the base in one motion. Tapia was ruled safe by umpire Shane Livensparger, but the call was reversed in a video review.
Rockies: LHP Ben Bowden (shoulder) is scheduled to begin a rehab stint Thursday with Triple-A Albuquerque. He was placed on the IL May 16. … Márquez was hit in the midsection by a Francisco Lindor comebacker in the sixth inning but threw to first for the second out and remained in the game after a handful of warmup pitches.
Mets: 1B/LF Dominic Smith (bruised left knee) did not play in the opener and went 0 for 2 with a hit batter in the second game. … RHP Taijuan Walker (right side) participated in a throwing session Thursday and could be activated off the IL when eligible Friday.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (4-4, 3.43 ERA) starts Friday’s series opener at Pittsburgh.
Mets: Walker (3-1, 2.05 ERA) appeared likely to start Friday against Atlanta.
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