The Arizona Diamondbacks have put their miserable May in the rearview mirror. The New York Mets are in a June swoon that keeps dragging on.
Paul Goldschmidt and Daniel Descalso homered Youth Christian Djoos Jersey , Zack Godley pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Diamondbacks beat the staggering Mets 7-3 on Friday night.
The NL West leaders have won seven of eight and 11 of 14. The freefalling Mets have dropped four straight, 12 of 13 and 19 of 23.
After starting the season 12-2, the Mets (28-38) have gone from 10 games over .500 to 10 games under earlier than any team in major league history. The previous mark was held by the 2011 Marlins, who did it in their 76th game.
It wasn’t that long ago that the tables were turned. When the Mets swept three from the Diamondbacks in New York from May 18-20, Arizona was in the midst of losing 15 times in 17 games. Since then, the Diamondbacks are 13-4.
”We were scuffling pretty bad the last time we played these guys, right in the middle of that pretty terrible stretch,” Descalso said. ”It seems like since we’ve been home after that road trip and kind of got right it’s been a much better ballclub, a much more offensive ballclub and we’ve been playing a lot better.”
New York’s stagnant offense has mustered just 21 runs in the last 13 games, scoring three or fewer in 11 straight.
Rookie manager Mickey Callaway insists he’s seeing subtle signs his team is breaking out of it.
”We were very close. We had lots of baserunners tonight,” he said. ”We put ourselves in position where we didn’t even need hits to score runs. We just needed some groundballs. … It felt different during the game. When you get in here at the end of the night it feels like the same thing, but we’re slowly coming out of it.”
Goldschmidt gave Arizona a lead in the first with his second solo home run in two nights. The slugging first baseman, having a torrid June after a horrendous May, has nine homers and 21 RBIs in his past 20 games. He also singled twice and drove in two runs.
Descalso had a sacrifice fly to go with a two-run homer off Seth Lugo (2-2) that put Arizona up 5-2 in the fifth. Jon Jay added three hits, including a triple.
Dominic Smith Marvin Harrison Jersey , brought up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, homered and doubled for the Mets on his 23rd birthday.
Godley (7-5) dodged trouble through the first four innings before retiring 10 of the last 11 batters he faced. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and five hits while striking out eight and walking three.
”I had to fight myself pretty much for the first three innings,” Godley said. ”After that I kind of settled in a little bit, got some quick outs and was able to go deep in the game.”
With two runners on, Brad Boxberger retired Michael Conforto for his 16th save.
Lugo led off the third with a single, Conforto was hit by a pitch and Todd Frazier followed with an RBI double. But the damage was limited when Godley fanned the next three batters to keep it tied at 1.
David Peralta singled with one out in the fifth ahead of Descalso’s eighth home run of the season.
”I left that changeup up to Descalso,” Lugo said. ”I think if I execute that pitch we’re in a different ballgame.”
In the sixth, Jarrod Dyson drew a one-out walk, stole second and third and scored on Jay’s single to make it 6-2. Jay tripled in the eighth and Goldschmidt singled him home.
Mets: Activated INF Wilmer Flores (back) from the 10-day disabled list and optioned INF-OF Ty Kelly to Triple-A Las Vegas. Flores entered in a double switch in the sixth and had an RBI double in the ninth.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (strained right oblique) made his first rehab start Thursday night for Class A Visalia, allowing five runs, two earned, and five hits with three strikeouts. He threw 45 pitches in 2 1/3 innings. His next start will be Tuesday for Triple-A Reno, when he is to throw 65-75 pitches. … RHP Randall Delgado threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab appearance for Reno on Thursday. He is to throw an inning of relief for Reno on Monday.
The Diamondbacks send left-hander Patrick Corbin (6-2, 3.21 ERA) to the mound and the Mets counter with lefty Steven Matz (2-4 Jake Dotchin Jersey , 3.53) on Saturday night in the third matchup of the four-game series.
If anyone really looks forward to exhibition football games, this is the week to pay attention. One good place to start is in Oakland.
Not because Aaron Rodgers will see plenty of action for Green Bay; he won’t, might not play at all. And the Raiders‘ best player, Khalil Mack, still is holding out. Such is the approach for players and coaches in the preseason.
But Rodgers gets to hang out — if not warm up with — an old friend and his former favorite target.
The departure of receiver Jordy Nelson has left Rodgers in need of a new partner to take part in one of his pregame routines. In the end zone before a game, there would be Rodgers and Nelson playing catch and spinning footballs on their fingertips. That won’t happen Friday night now that Nelson is a Raider, though they remain good friends.
“He said he has his own pregame routine now so we can’t play catch before the game, so I’m a little disappointed by that,” Rodgers quipped. “He’s changed. … He’s a new guy.”
The competition between Brett Hundley and offseason acquisition DeShone Kizer to back up Rodgers will be a focal point for the Packers. Plus, depth is starting to become an issue at running back because injuries have slowed Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays. Jones could play Friday as he comes back from a hamstring injury, though the Packers will be without him for the first two weeks of the season because of an NFL suspension. Ty Montgomery is the only healthy holdover from last year.
On the other side, Raiders coach Jon Gruden calls his running backs the strength of his team even if the top guys haven’t gotten to show much in the preseason. Marshawn Lynch had a 60-yard TD run called back by penalty on his only touch, and No. 2 back Doug Martin has one carry for 3 yards.
Both could get a longer look when Gruden plans to play his starters into the second quarter.
“We’re not going to play them a whole lot, but they will get some time Chris Tierney Jersey ,” he said. “Hopefully they have some success.”
Undrafted rookie Chris Warren III has made the most of the time Lynch and Martin have spent on the sideline. Warren leads the NFL with 196 yards rushing this preseason.
MVPS IN ACTION
The third preseason game is usually when Bill Belichick uses his starters most. Last year, Tom Brady played about two quarters, then sat out the exhibition finale. Look for Brady, the 2017 league MVP, to be on the field at Carolina for perhaps the first half.
Rob Gronkowski could see his first action of the year. The Patriots are also looking for help on the offensive line after losing tackle Isaiah Wynn, the No. 23 overall pick, in the last game. With Kenny Britt cut this week, the team will also be seeking depth at receiver, especially for the four weeks Julian Edelman serves his performance-enhancers suspension.
2015 MVP Cam Newton and the Panthers‘ first-team offense will see their most extensive action of the preseason, playing into the third quarter. Newton has dramatically improved his accuracy this preseason under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, completing 71.4 percent as compared to a career completion percentage of 58.5 percent.
Protecting Newton could be an issue as the Panthers will be without three starting offensive linemen due to injuries.
Minnesota’s task of improvement on offense begins with the line, where right tackle Rashod Hill and right guard Mike Remmers are expected to suit up against Seattle after sitting out the previous game with ankle injuries. Center Pat Elflein has been on the PUP list for the entire training camp, still rehabilitating from offseason ankle and shoulder surgeries. Left guard Nick Easton is out for the year with a neck injury.
“We’re not the only ones in the league to be having these issues,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “We just have a few more than we should have at this point in time. It’s life.”
Seattle’s recommitment to being a run-first team will get a stiff test. The Seahawks believe they’ve strayed from their successful formula as NFC champions in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and re-establishing the run to control the game has been an offseason focus. While first-round pick Rashaad Penny won’t play (finger) Mike Singletary Jersey , second-year running back Chris Carson is likely to see his most extensive playing time of the preseason.
The Seahawks will also get long looks at second-year safeties Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson.
“ALL DAY” GETS A SHOT
Adrian Peterson will make his preseason debut four days after signing with the Redskins.
Coach Jay Gruden said Peterson’s workload video station. the Broncos may depend on how much playing time the starting offensive line gets. Peterson will split carries with incumbent Rob Kelley, who emerged as the front-runner to start after rookie Derrius Guice tore the ACL in his left knee.
Left tackle Trent Williams is still questionable as he comes off major knee surgery.
Denver’s defense played much better last week against Chicago than in the opener against the Vikings. Coach Vance Joseph said he wants his defensive identity to be “stopping the run” so the Broncos can turn loose the likes of Von Miller, rookie Bradley Chubb, Shaq Barrett and Shane Ray on the quarterback.
“Stopping the run and putting the offense in a one-dimensional phase, making them be a passing team so we can rush the passer. And, playing with a lead. That’s important also for our defense. We do have great pass rushers, but if you don’t have a lead, you won’t ever see them come out,” Joseph said.
WHERE’S THE RUSH
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