NEW YORK -- That's about as painful a loss as you'll ever see, but at least the New York Mets won't have much time to think about it.
They wasted a wonderful performance by Rafael Montero, and opportunity after opportunity at the plate, losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 in the first game of a single-admission doubleheader at Citi Field.
The Diamondbacks scored the winning run in the top of the ninth, with A.J. Pollock coming home from third base after Daniel Murphy dropped David Wright's throw from third on what should have been an inning-ending forceout.
With runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Juan Lagares struck out and then Murphy flied out to left field -- Ender Inciarte, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth -- made a nice running catch on the play.
The last-place Mets (21-27) have now lost eight of 10, and are 6-16 in the month of May. The Diamondbacks (20-31) remain in last place in the NL West.
Double trouble: The Mets had plenty of chances to score in this game, but hit into five double plays -- tying the franchise record for a nine-inning game. Chris Young hit into two of them, and also popped out to the catcher, dropping his batting average to .204.
Lucas Duda, after going 0-for-4 and stranding seven runners in Saturday's loss, went 0-for-4 again and stranded six more -- including hitting into a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning. He is now batting .230.
Overall, the Mets were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position against Bronson Arroyo and three relievers. New York entered the day with the second-lowest team batting average in the National League (.233), ahead of only the San Diego Padres.
The bright side: Montero failed to earn his first major league victory on Sunday, but it was a mighty impressive no-decision.
The 23-year-old threw six innings, giving up just one run on two hits, with 10 strikeouts and three walks.
Montero became only the fourth pitcher in franchise history to record 10 or more strikeouts in one of the first three starts of his career. The last to do so was Matt Harvey, who fanned 11 in his major league debut on July 26, 2012.
Montero threw a career-high 113 pitches, and left with the game tied at 1. He remains 0-2, but his ERA dropped from 6.97 to 4.96. Montero has now received just two runs of support total in his first three starts for the Mets.
Wright stuff: Wright had two of the Mets' nine hits -- singles in the first and third innings. (He also reached base twice more, on an error by the Diamondbacks' shortstop, Owings, and a walk.)
It's the fourth multi-hit game in a row for Wright, who is 15-for-32 (.469) during his current eight-game hitting streak.
Murphy and Juan Centeno also had two hits in the game.
Unwelcome Ollie: Oliver Perez entered the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, replacing Arroyo, and the former Met was booed lustily. It was Perez's first appearance at Citi Field since his final one with the Mets, on the final day of the 2010 season -- remember, he came on in the 14th inning and gave up the winning run, hitting a batter and then walking the next three.
Perez went 1 1/3 scoreless innings this time around, giving up one hit, with two strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter.
What's next: The second game will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of this one. Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0, 2.14) will make his first start of the season for the Mets (after 14 relief appearances), as will fellow righty Zeke Spruill for the Diamondbacks (just called up from Triple-A).