NEW YORK (AP) — The road to success for Tyler Chatwood is pitching on the road.
The Colorado right-hander hasn’t lost away from Coors Field in 13 starts July 2013, and he has an idea why that may be.
Chatwood threw seven innings of three-hit ball, Carlos Gonzalez homered and drove in four runs and the Rockies defeated the New York Mets 6-1 Friday night for their fourth straight victory.
Mark Reynolds homered and Charlie Blackmon had four hits for the surging Rockies. They are 11-4 since the All-Star break and have moved within four games of Miami for the second NL wild-card spot.
Chatwood (10-6) improved to 6-0 with a 1.30 ERA on the road this season. The 26-year-old is 4-6 with a 5.69 ERA at home.
“I know my two-seamer’s got a little more depth on the road, which is big for me. That’s the pitch I throw the most, so I think it helps to have that,” Chatwood said. “Overall I think it’s just executing pitches and I haven’t executed a lot at home.”
Gonzalez matched a season-high hitting streak of 11 games with an RBI double in the first. He hit a 448-foot, three-run drive in the ninth for his 21st homer off Antonio Bastardo.
“He threw me six straight sliders and the one that he missed over the plate was the one I hit over the fence,” Gonzalez said. “Those are the pitches that we’ve got to hit and I was ready for it.”
Steven Matz (8-7) gave up two runs and 10 hits in six innings.
James Loney homered for the Mets. Alejandro De Aza had another kind of hit — he had a pinch-single in the eighth, and later was running to third when he was grazed in the helmet by the shattered barrel of Travis d’Arnaud’s bat.
Down 3-1, the Mets got a pair of singles to start the eighth off Jake McGee. Scott Oberg relieved and retired the next three batters on just three pitches. The Mets are the majors’ worst hitting team with runners in scoring position.
“We are going through a rough time right now. We haven’t hit with runners in scoring position. Everybody knows it,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We have to quit rubbing their faces in it every day. We have to lighten it up a little bit.”
Nick Hundley’s RBI single in the sixth put Colorado ahead for good at 2-1.
HALL OF FAME WELCOME
The Mets started a weekend-long tribute to Hall of Famer Mike Piazza, handing out replica jerseys to all fans. A large home plate with Piazza’s No. 31 in the middle was etched into the center field grass in anticipation of Saturday’s number retirement ceremony.
“It’s truly an honor to be able to celebrate his career here in New York and it means so much and I’m so honored to be able to wear that No. 31 on my shoulder,” d’Arnaud said.
SETTING THE TONE
The quality start by Chatwood was the 18th in July by Rockies’ pitching, their highest total in a month since also recording 18 in August 2010.
“It’s the best starting pitching we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “That’s the biggest reason why we’re playing well. When you get good starting pitching everything else falls into place.”
Rockies: OF Ryan Rayburn was a late scratch from the starting lineup after bruising his left knee in batting practice. “I think an overthrow when pitchers were doing their throwing program down the line. One got away and hit Raburn right in the knee so it swelled up pretty good,” Weiss said. … OF Gerardo Parra (sprained left ankle) began a rehab assignment with Double-A Hartford on Friday. He played left field for five innings in the first game of a doubleheader, going 1 for 2 with a walk and scoring a run.
Mets: 3B Jose Reyes (strained left ribcage) missed his fourth straight game. `’He’s a little closer,” Collins said. `’We’ve got to be careful not to overdo it.”
LHP Jorge De La Rosa (6-7, 5.70) is slated to start for Colorado on Saturday night in a matchup of veterans, opposed by 43-year-old righty Bartolo Colon (9-5, 3.35). The 35-year-old De La Rosa is 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts at Citi Field. Colon will be starting on short rest, earning the win over St. Louis in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday.
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