PHOENIX (AP) _ Arizona right-hander Brandon McCarthy felt good and was able to shake off a couple of bad pitches to give his team a chance.
The Diamondbacks didn’t take advantage of it.
McCarthy pitched seven sturdy innings in his second start off the DL, but the Diamondbacks failed on numerous scoring opportunities in a 4-1 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday.
“I thought he threw the ball good … gave us a chance to win the game,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “We had opportunities to win the game. We had bases loaded a couple of times, first and third with one out, we didn’t get the runs in.”
Wilmer Flores did, just like he has repeatedly during a short stint in the majors.
Called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, Flores had a run-scoring single off McCarthy (2-6) in the fourth inning and a two-run single in the eighth, giving him an RBI in four straight games.
That’s eight RBIs in his first five games in the majors for the 22-year-old Venezuelan.
“He doesn’t strike out. I’m sure he will one of these days, but he puts the bat on the ball,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “People are yelling he’s hitting .167, but look up, he’s got 18 at-bats and six RBIs (before Saturday). A lot of guys on this team would take six RBIs every 18 at-bats.”
New York lost the series opener on a walk-off homer by Paul Goldschmidt.
The Mets held off the Diamondbacks in the second game behind Flores, Zack Wheeler and some clutch performances by their bullpen.
Wheeler (5-2) did his part, allowing a solo home run to Aaron Hill and little else over 6 1-3 innings to bounce back from a shaky outing previous start.
Scott Rice followed him and got Adam Eaton to ground out with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning.
Flores put New York up 4-1 with a two-run single to left off David Hernandez, but Arizona fought back, loading the bases in the bottom half against Carlos Torres. Pedro Feliciano put a quick end to that threat by striking out Gerardo Parra looking.
LaTroy Hawkins then finished it off, striking out Martin Prado with on runner on second in the ninth for his third save in five chances and 900th career strikeout.
Arizona stranded 10 baserunners and ended the night 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
“We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities,” Gibson said.
McCarthy got through the first three innings before Juan Lagares led off the fourth with a line-drive homer that just cleared the wall into the pool deck in right-center. Ike Davis then doubled off the wall and Flores knocked him in with a single to put the Mets up 2-0.
McCarthy was good after that, getting Flores to ground out with runners on second and third in the sixth inning before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh. He allowed two runs and six hits and struck out four.
“I felt pretty good,” said McCarthy, who went on the DL on May 31 with shoulder inflammation. “The few pitches that I would like to have back, but overall I felt that I did a good job of commanding the ball and kind of moving them around.”
Notes: Arizona RHP J.J. Putz hasn’t allowed a run in 12 straight appearances. … Parra made a diving catch near the foul line in right to rob Buck of a hit in the eighth inning. … Mets LHP Jonathon Niese will make his first start in Sunday’s series finale since going on the DL with a partial rotator cuff tear on June 21. He is 1-2 with a 6.85 ERA in four career starts against the Diamondbacks. … Arizona RHP Zeke Spruill will make his second career start in the majors after giving up five earned runs in four innings in a loss to Texas in his debut.