NEW YORK — Patrick Corbin was coming off consecutive gems against a pair of tough teams, so it was no surprise he had little trouble with the diminished New York Mets.
The left-hander pitched eight smooth innings to win his third straight stingy start, J.D. Martinez hit an early three-run homer and the Arizona Diamondbacks coasted past the sinking Mets 7-4 on Tuesday night.
“Felt like I got in a little groove out there,” Corbin said.
Adam Rosales also homered and made a diving stop at third base to begin an inning-ending double play. Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice and drove in two runs as the Diamondbacks boosted their playoff position by winning at Citi Field for the second consecutive night.
The Diamondbacks had lost three in a row and nine of 12 before arriving in Queens, but have righted themselves against the depleted Mets. They’ve won all five matchups this season and 10 of 11 over the last two years.
The latest victory moved Arizona a half-game in front of Colorado for the top NL wild card.
“I think we’re excited,” Corbin said. “I think everything’s turned the corner.”
Corbin (11-11) extended his shutout streak beyond 20 innings before rookie Amed Rosario hit his third homer in the fifth.
That was the only run allowed by Corbin, who yielded four hits and two walks while striking out six . He has gone at least eight innings in back-to-back starts for the second time in his career — the other one was four years ago.
After holding the World Series champion Cubs and AL-leading Houston scoreless in his previous two outings, Corbin shut down a Mets lineup that included only a handful of projected regulars. All-Star outfielder Michael Conforto was scratched with a sore right thumb.
“When those young guys come up, they’re a little happy up there and just kind of really aggressive,” Corbin said.
New York scored three times in the ninth before Fernando Rodney earned his 29th save in 34 attempts, throwing two pitches to get one out.
Yoenis Cespedes went 3 for 3 with a walk, but the Mets (54-70) lost for eighth time in nine games and fell to 1-6 on a nine-game homestand.
Pitching in place of injured Steven Matz, lefty Tommy Milone (1-3) gave up a three-run shot to Martinez in the first inning. Martinez was acquired from Detroit in a July 18 trade and has now homered against every major league team.
“He’s been everything and then some that we hoped for,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
Rosario’s error at shortstop allowed a run to score in the third, and Rosales added a solo homer in the fourth.
It was Milone’s first big league outing since May 21 — the journeyman had been sidelined with a sprained left knee.
“I felt better as the game went on but it just wasn’t enough,” Milone said.
CLOSE TO HOME
Corbin is from the Syracuse area in central New York and said he had about 20 friends and family members in the stands, along with one of his college coaches. “I had like 60 my first year,” he said. “Played for free that day.” Corbin, who grew up a Yankees fan, improved to 1-3 in seven career games (six starts) against the Mets. “You always want to pitch well when you’ve got a big crowd here,” he said. “I like having family here.”
Rosario had an RBI triple in the ninth after fellow rookie Dominic Smith drove in a run with a pinch-hit double. “If they are not putting forth any effort, they won’t be here long,” manager Terry Collins said. “They are all playing hard.”
GLASS HALF EMPTY
A man sitting several rows in front of the press box, slumped in a seat with his arms draped over a railing, wore a No. 1 Mets jersey with the name Pessimistic scrawled across his upper back.
Diamondbacks: All-Star 3B Jake Lamb was rested against the left-hander in favor of Rosales. … RHP Randall Delgado (elbow inflammation) threw a 20-pitch bullpen in Arizona. … C Jeff Mathis was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a broken right hand and OF Reymond Fuentes was reinstated from the DL. Lovullo said it’s too early to tell whether Mathis will miss the rest of the season. Fuentes had been sidelined since July 18 with a bruised left thumb. … SS Nick Ahmed (broken right hand) was scheduled to play his second consecutive rehab game with the rookie-level Diamondbacks in Arizona. … OF Yasmany Tomas (right groin) had core surgery for a sports hernia. … RHP Rubby De La Rosa (elbow) had Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career.
Mets: All-Star closer Jeurys Familia threw a hitless inning for Class A Brooklyn and is expected to pitch for the Cyclones again on Wednesday. He could rejoin the Mets this weekend in Washington. Familia has been out since May following surgery for a blood clot in his right arm. … RHP Noah Syndergaard (torn lat muscle) is scheduled to throw batting practice Wednesday. … 3B David Wright went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts as the DH for Class A St. Lucie in his first rehab game. He hopes to rejoin the Mets in September. … RHP Matt Harvey (shoulder) threw 54 pitches Monday in his third rehab start, first for Double-A Binghamton after two with Brooklyn. Collins said he’d like Harvey to get up to 80-85 pitches before returning in early September. … Matz went on the 10-day DL in anticipation of season-ending elbow surgery, and RHP Kevin McGowan was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. McGowan made his major league debut and gave up an RBI double to his first batter, Goldschmidt.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (5-6, 3.13 ERA) pitches Wednesday night in the third game of a four-game series. Godley has lost his last two starts, though he matched a personal high with 10 strikeouts Friday at Minnesota. He has a 1.80 ERA in 15 career innings against the Mets.
Mets: Rookie RHP Chris Flexen (2-2, 6.55) makes his sixth major league start.
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