Nieve (3-3) pitched decently but lost his third straight outing following a 3-0 start with New York. He gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. Following a 28-21 start, the Mets have gone 12-24 since May and dropped five games under .500 for the first time since an 0-5 start in 2005 under new manager Willie Randolph. Theyâ€™ve fallen 6 1/2 games behind first-place Philadelphia.Before the game, New York traded Ryan Church to the Atlanta Braves for Jeff Francoeur and cash in a swap of outfielders who had fallen out of favor with their teams. Arroyo (9-8), who had been 1-5 in seven outings since May,Â struck out five and walked none in his eighth complete game in 211 starts. Since Beltran last played June 21, New York has scored three runs or fewer in 13 of 18 games and been shut out five times. The Mets have three shutout losses in a five-game span for the first time since getting blanked three times in a row July 25-27, 1992, according to STATS LLC.
Lowe (8-7) was 0-4 in five starts since beating the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 9. He ended his personal skid with what he said was his best game all season. He gave up one run and four hits, struck out five and walked one. He left after a 52-minute rain delay that began at the end of the sixth inning. Lowe entered the game 2-4 with a 6.23 ERA in nine starts in Denver, but he felt he was due for a strong outing in the Mile High air. â€œI came in this time believing I could pitch a good game here,â€ Lowe said. â€œTo be able to pitch this well in a place I struggled and the way I had pitched the last five games in really important.â€ Jimenez (6-9), who no-hit Arizona for 6 2-3 innings in his last outing, is 0-3 in his last four starts. He gave up two runs and six hits, struck out eight and walked one in six innings. Lowe got all the support he needed in the first when Martin Prado and Chipper Jones had consecutive one-out singles, and one out later, Anderson knocked in both with a double to right-center.
One night after blowing a seven-run leadâ€”the biggest collapse in team historyâ€”the Diamondbacks jumped to a 7-0 fourth-inning margin on Florida starter Ricky Nolasco (6-7), who lost for the first time since June 7. Haren (9-5) made sure it wouldnâ€™t happen two nights in a row, tossing a four-hitter for his third complete game of the season and ninth of his career. Harenâ€™s other shutout came Sept. 16, 2008, against San Francisco. Haren struck out 10 and walked one in a 117-pitch outing as the Diamondbacks won for the sixth time in seven games. Nolasco had gone 4-0 in his last five starts, but he lacked command against the feeble-hitting Diamondbacks, who entered with a .245 team batting average, 15th in the NL. â€œThey put some good swings on the ball,â€ said Nolasco, who went six innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits. He struck out eight and walked one.
Blanton (6-4) allowed one run and four hits over 7 1-3 innings in his second consecutive effective outing. The right-hander pitched 7 1-3 innings in Philadelphiaâ€™s 2-0 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday, and is 4-1 with a 2.44 ERA in his last nine starts. The NL East-leading Phillies have won seven of eight, all at home, after entering their 10-game homestand with 14 losses in 18 games. Pittsburghâ€™s Zach Duke (8-8) tossed his third complete game of the season, allowing five hits, and lost for the fourth time in his last five decisions. He allowed only one hit, Victorinoâ€™s eighth-inning double, after the third. Moss connected against Brad Lidge with two out in the ninth, but pinch-hitter Delwyn Young struck out to end the game. Lidge earned his 18th save in 24 chances.
Blumâ€™s bases-loaded single scored Miguel Tejada in the ninth inning and the Astros rallied after Roy Oswalt was injured to beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 on Friday night. Oswalt allowed three runs and five hits before leaving in the seventh with numbness in two fingers in his right hand. He hurt his hand when he broke his bat on a groundout in the sixth, but he expects to make his next scheduled start, the first game after the All-Star break. Jeff Fulchino (3-3) got the win with some help from Bourn in the ninth. Nyjer Morgan hit a one-out single to center with Willie Harris on second but Bourn made a perfect throw to the plate to keep the game tied at 5. Tejada led off the ninth with a single against Joe Beimel (0-5), who retired Lance Berkman before being replaced by Mike MacDougal. Tejada moved up on Carlos Leeâ€™s fly out to center and Hunter Pence was intentionally walked. MacDougal struggled with his control after putting on Pence, throwing a wild pitch and walking Ivan Rodriguez before Blum singled to right to end the game. The Nationals have lost five straight and nine of their last 11.