New York Mets' Michael Conforto (30) celebrates his three-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Wilmer Flores (4) and Brandon Nimmo, back left, during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 16, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Conforto homers, Matz strong as Mets beat D'backs 5-1

June 17, 2018 - 2:16 am
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PHOENIX (AP) — Michael Conforto showed signs of ending a prolonged slump, and the New York Mets got some much-needed offense for a rare win Saturday night.

Conforto homered for the second time in three games and drove in a career high four runs, Steven Matz pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1.

Conforto lined a three-run homer in the second inning, and that was all the support Matz needed against one of baseball's hottest teams. Matz (3-4) allowed a run, six hits and a walk with three strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.

"Trying to stay behind it a little bit, that's the best way I can explain it," said Conforto, who was 2 for 29 over his last nine games. "It's something that I've been through before."

The Mets ended a four-game losing streak and have won just two of their last 14 games. The Diamondbacks lost for just the second time in nine games.

"Doing some things that we'd been talking about as far as basic baseball I think is big for us," Conforto said. "We know we're better players than the product has been."

New York made it 4-0 in the third when Amed Rosario led off with a double and scored on starter Patrick Corbin's wild pitch. The Mets had scored three or fewer runs in 11 straight games.

Corbin got into another jam in the sixth but got some help from center fielder Chris Owings, who threw out Brandon Nimmo trying to score from second base on a shallow single. With two outs in the inning, Conforto doubled into the right-field corner to drive in another run.

"You give up three quick runs the way Matz was throwing, it was a little too much for us to play some catch-up," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.

Corbin (6-3) surrendered five runs and eight hits in six innings with seven strikeouts.

"Take a way a couple of pitches there, I think it could have been decent," Corbin said. "They just did a good job, made it tough. I got the pitch count up there a little bit and they made me work."

The Diamondbacks made it 5-1 in the sixth with Nick Ahmed's double and Paul Goldschmidt's RBI groundout.

Arizona loaded the bases in the seventh against Matz and reliever Robert Gsellman, who rode onto the field in the Diamondbacks' new bullpen cart. Gsellman got Ahmed to ground into an inning-ending fielder's choice.

"Honestly, after the second inning it all clicked for me and I started feeling really good out there," Matz said.

The Mets' Anthony Swarzak struck out the side in the ninth to end it.

GREET THE METS

Most of the right field seats at Chase Field on Saturday night were taken up by hundreds of chanting Mets fans in blue shirts representing a group called the Seven Line Army. It bills itself on Twitter as "the largest traveling supporter section in baseball history."

The group went crazy as Conforto's home run sailed into its area, and roared again when Conforto took his position in center field and waved before the start of the bottom of the second.

The fans serenaded Mets pinch hitter Jose Reyes with a soccer-style cheer in the ninth while he was at bat.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: Reliever Jeurys Familia is with the team in Arizona and is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday. He's been out with a sore right shoulder since June 7. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said he "wouldn't be afraid" to go to Familia in the eighth or ninth inning right away. ... OF Jay Bruce is expected to be in Sunday's lineup after missing the past three games with a sore back. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard (right index finger) is moving closer to starting a throwing program.

Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery rehab) made a strong start for Class A Visalia on Saturday night, allowing three hits in 6 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts. ... LHP Robbie Ray (oblique) will throw up to 70 pitches Tuesday for Triple-A Reno. ... RHP Randall Delgado (oblique) is set for one inning of work for Reno on Sunday.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5) is set for his fourth career start at Chase Field. He has 1.93 ERA in three previous starts.

Diamondbacks: RHP Clay Buchholz (1-1) faces the Mets. He has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his five starts this season.

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