PHOENIX -- The New York Mets are back where they started the season: .500.
Jenrry Mejia tossed five scoreless innings before departing with a blister issue, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered and drove in three runs in his return to the big leagues as the Mets routed the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-0 Tuesday night at Chase Field.
The Mets evened their record at 7-7 after failing in their five previous attempts this season to move to .500.Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Jenrry Mejia tossed five scoreless innings before departing with a blister issue.
Mejia departed with his pitch count only at 77 and the Mets leading by nine runs, because he had torn a blister on the tip of his middle finger. Blisters have been a recurring problem for Mejia.
At the plate, the Mets aggressively jumped on D-backs starter Bronson Arroyo. They took a 3-0 lead six batters and 14 pitches into the game, when Nieuwenhuis produced an RBI single in his first big-league at-bat since last July 26. Nieuwenhuis had been bypassed for a September call-up.
Nieuwenhuis (3-for-5) also opened the scoring in a six-run fourth against Arroyo with a two-run homer. That was the 21st homer surrendered by Arizona pitchers this season, matching the Mets staff for the most long balls allowed in the majors.
Arroyo was charged with nine runs on 10 hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings.
In center field, Nieuwenhuis did his best impression of slick-fielding Juan Lagares, the player he replaced on the roster.
Mejia retired the first nine D-backs batters, until issuing a leadoff walk to Gerardo Parra in the fourth. He kept a no-hit bid intact until one out in that frame, when Paul Goldschmidt singled down the third-base line.
Gonzalez Germen added three scoreless relief innings.
Guess who? Oliver Perez faced the Mets for the first time since being released by the club in spring training in 2011. Perez, who signed a two-year, $4.25 million with the D-backs, tossed two scoreless innings with four strikeouts. The lone baserunner against him came on a one-out single by Nieuwenhuis in the southpaw’s second inning of relief.
What’s next: The Mets attempt to sweep the series at Chase Field at 3:40 p.m. ET Wednesday. Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.03 ERA) opposes right-hander Brandon McCarthy (0-2, 7.78). The Mets last produced sweeps in Phoenix in 2005 and 2006, when they went 4-0 against the D-backs in consecutive seasons.