After taking the first two games of the series, the Mets quickly reverted back to the losing business as Mike Trout and company routed New York for a dozen runs – eight of which knocked starter Tommy Milone off the mound in the second.
Sunday at Citi Field the Angels literally walked all over Mets pitching, with five of the nine batters that had been gifted a free pass being driven to the plate.
Milone, in his second consecutive awful outing, had an ominous start surrendering back-to-back base hits, an intentional walk, an unintentional bases-loaded walk, and a grand slam before any outs were recorded.
The lit-up lefty returned to the rubber in the second looking to limit the damage to a five spot, only to be torched by Trout’s and Jefry Marte’s subsequent two-run and solo shots extending LA’s lead to eight before Mets fans had finished their first beer.
Despite his second consecutive awful outing, Milone will get another start according to manager Terry Collins.
“Right now, Tom’s going to go back out,” Collins said. “We think that’s our best option.”
Rafael Montero had the dubious honor of mopping up the mess, and despite continued command issues (three walks), he yielded only one run in 3.2 innings of work.
Rookie Matt Reynolds got the start at shortstop in lieu of Jose Reyes due to a late scratch because of left rib cage tightness. Reynolds gave his team a dose of dignity putting the Mets on the board in the third with his first home run of the season.
After Curtis Granderson led off the fifth with his fourth four-bagger of the season, consecutive hits in the sixth by Michael Conforto and Wilmer Flores set the stage for Jay Bruce to say, “So long” to his hitting slump by blasting a three-run shot, closing the gap to 9-5.
Just when hope filled the air in Flushing, the Angels took flight once again in the seventh off of the hapless Hansel Robles after a brief yet successful stint by Neil Ramirez. A walk to Luis Valbuena, a double by Cameron Maybin and a fly ball over the left field wall from Andrelton Simmons gave LA an even dozen runs, thrusting a dagger into the Mets futile attempt at procuring a sweep.
With an off day on Monday, Matt Harvey returns to the mound with his 2-3 record and bloated 5.56 ERA. It remains to be seen if the malcontent starter can find the means in his pitching toolbox to turn his sorry season around against the last place San Diego Padres.