DENVER | Juan Nicasio bounced back nicely from his first loss of the season.
Carlos Gonzalez homered before leaving with a finger injury, Nicasio pitched seven scoreless innings and drove in three runs, and the Colorado Rockies beat the New York Mets 7-4 on Thursday night.
“All my breaking balls worked today and I had good command of my fastball, too,” said Nicasio, who was dinged for a couple of home runs by the Los Angeles Dodgers while struggling with his location last time out during a 4 1-3 inning outing.
“That’s why I was good today,” Nicasio said. “I threw a lot of sliders for strikes, my fastball was down in the zone. When I’m pitching good, I have command of my fastball, and keeping the ball down. I lost my command (last time out).”
New York manager Terry Collins said Nicasio kept Mets batters’ guessing.
“He moved the ball in and out,” Collins said. “He threw strikes.”
Corey Dickerson added three hits, including an RBI triple and Nolan Arenado singled leading off the third to extend the majors’ longest active streak to 21 games. He’s tied for the fourth-longest hitting streak in Rockies team history.
Gonzalez connected for his sixth home run of the season in the first inning, driving a 3-2 offering from Bartolo Colon (2-4) off the right-center field facing just below the second deck. He was lifted in the fourth inning, replaced by pinch hitter Brandon Barnes, because of a bruised left index finger. His playing status was listed as day to day.
“I don’t think he’s going to miss a lot of time,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “It was encouraging that the swelling was going down already.”
Colon allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. He walked one and struck out three.
“Bartolo left pitches over the plate. And we ran into a hot team,” said Travis d’Arnaud, who homered in the ninth off reliever Chad Bettis.
But Nicasio (3-1) was effective at the plate and on the mound.
After allowing a one-out single in the second to Chris Young, Nicasio retired 12 batters in a row before issuing his lone walk in the sixth inning. The only extra base hit he allowed was a double leading off the game to Juan Lagares. He was activated prior to the game after spending the previous two weeks on the disabled list because of a strained right hamstring.
“It’s a good step for him,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “We’ve seen Juan real good in the past, saw him good early and hopefully he gets on a roll.”
Nicasio also was a central figure in the Rockies’ offense.
“We preach a lot to our pitchers if they can execute the game offensively there’s probably a few W’s in there for them,” Weiss said.
Dickerson and Charlie Culberson hit successive two-out singles in the second and, running on the pitch, they both scored when Nicasio followed with a single that rolled to the right field corner.
He added a sacrifice fly in the Rockies’ three-run fourth. Arenado also had a sacrifice fly and Charlie Blackmon an RBI single in the inning.
Dickerson’s two-out triple in the fifth scored Justin Morneau, who was aboard with a single.
The Mets avoided their third shutout of the season when Lagares, doubling for the second time in the game, hit a drive off Bettis in the eighth to the right centerfield gap to score pinch hitter Bobby Abreu from first.
Bettis surrendered a two-out, three-run homer to d’Arnaud in the ninth before retiring Ruben Tejada on a fly ball to right.
NOTES: Four of the seven home runs Colon has given up this season have come in the first inning. … Colon’s four-pitch walk to Wilin Rosario leading off the fourth represented his first walk in 14 innings. … Arenado’s 21-game hitting streak is the longest in the majors this season. … Nicasio’s last multi-RBI game was June 14 against Philadelphia. … The Mets’ Daniel Murphy went 0 for 4, snapping a 10-game hitting streak. … Rockies catcher Rosario was back in the lineup after missing the previous four games with a left hand injury.