After a particularly anemic performance by their offense last week on the road, the New York Mets are looking for better results during their homestand.
They also hope a favorable matchup will help R.A. Dickey bounce back following a shaky start.
Dickey will try to tie the major league lead with his 16th win Monday night when the Mets open a four-game series against the depleted Colorado Rockies .
Following a 2-4 road trip, New York returns home to face Colorado (46-73) and Houston, the two worst teams in the majors.
That may be just what the Mets (57-64) need after visiting a pair of division leaders in Cincinnati and Washington. They lost 5-2 to the Nationals on Sunday, going 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
New York has lost nine of 13 overall, averaging 2.8 runs. It went 5 for 41 (.122) with men on second or third during the road trip.
"You've got to get key hits," manager Terry Collins said. "We sat here the entire first half and talked about the key hits we're getting with two outs. (Now) we're not getting them. That's a big difference."
Dickey (15-4, 2.89 ERA) was hit hard Wednesday in Cincinnati, giving up five runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 6-1 loss. The knuckleballer struck out nine but matched a season high by allowing three homers.
"When you throw mediocre knuckleballs and they don't miss them, they can be hit a long way," Dickey said.
After going 12-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 17 starts before the All-Star break, Dickey is 3-3 with a 4.10 ERA since. He is still 7-1 with a 2.66 ERA at home this year, throwing his third complete game there in his last home start Aug. 9 in a 6-1 win over Miami.
Dickey has only faced Colorado once before, allowing five runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-5 loss April 14, 2011.
This time, he'll encounter a depleted Rockies team, which completed a 5-2 homestand with a 3-2 win over Miami on Sunday.
Outfielder Eric Young Jr. left after one inning with a strain in his left ribcage, then shortstop Josh Rutledge was removed in the fifth with tightness in his left thigh.
"There's nothing you can do about other people getting hurt," pitcher Adam Ottavino said. "When you come into a tough spot all you can do is just keep playing."
The Rockies, who swept a four-game set at Citi Field last year, lost two of three to the Mets at home in April. Wright went 6 for 10 with two doubles, four RBIs and five walks.
Colorado sends Alex White (2-6, 5.74) to the mound to face the Mets for the first time after he gave up two runs and three hits in four innings of a 5-3 win over the Marlins on Thursday.
Although he's 0-3 in his last eight starts, White has pitched effectively over the last four. Colorado has won three of those games, with the right-hander recording a 3.63 ERA.
|August 19, 2012||Michael Cuddyer||15-Day DL||Right oblique strain|
|August 19, 2012||Josh Rutledge||Day-to-Day||Left game - left quad tightness|
|August 14, 2012||Drew Pomeranz||Day-to-Day||Chest soreness|
|August 06, 2012||Todd Helton||60-Day DL||Torn labrum, right hip|
|August 06, 2012||Edgmer Escalona||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|August 04, 2012||Jonathan Sanchez||15-Day DL||Left biceps tendinitis|
|New York Mets|
|August 02, 2012||Tim Byrdak||15-Day DL||Sore left shoulder|
|July 31, 2012||Andres Torres||Day-to-Day||Strained right thumb|
|July 31, 2012||Jason Bay||Day-to-Day||Bruised left calf|
|July 21, 2012||Johan Santana||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle|
|July 21, 2012||Johan Santana||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle|
|July 11, 2012||Dillon Gee||Day-to-Day||Bloot clot in right shoulder|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Tyler Colvin stood in front of his locker wearing a Todd Helton T-shirt and cracked a big grin when he was given a choice: tying home run off R.A. Dickey or terrific play at first base.
"I'd go with the game-saving play," Colvin said.
Either way, Helton, the three-time Gold Glove first baseman on the disabled list since Aug. 6, would approve of Colvin's night that led the Colorado Rockies to a 3-1 win over the New York Mets on Monday.
Getting more playing time at first base because of Helton's hip surgery and the recently-injured Michael Cuddyer , Colvin connected off Dickey in the fifth inning then made a diving grab with the bases loaded in the eighth to preserve the lead.
Jonathan Herrera bunted for a hit in the top of the eighth and made his way around the bases with help from some inept defense to give Colorado a 2-1 lead.
"Looking for any opportunity to get on base," Herrera said.
Colvin's first home run in 105 at-bats, denied the knuckleballer a chance at his 16th win and helped the Rockies to their sixth victory in eight games.
With their 10th loss in 14 games, the Mets (57-65) dropped into a third-place tie with Philadelphia in the NL East, 18 1-2 games behind first-place Washington.
Colvin made a lunging stop on pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin 's sharp grounder just inside the bag with the bases loaded and his toss to reliever Matt Belisle just beat a diving Valdespin to the bag.
Valdepsin jumped up, waving his arms in disbelief, and manager Terry Collins engaged first base umpire Lance Barksdale in a prolonged discussion.
"They've all been told about you don't see track runners diving at the finish line. There's a reason they don't do it. It slows you down," Collins said. "Any time you hit the ground, it slows you down. Jordany gave it his best effort."
Said Valdespin: "At the moment, you not thinking nothing. You go running. The only (thing) you want to do is be safe because you know the tying run is on third base."
Rafael Betancourt , the Rockies' fifth pitcher, put two runners on before getting Mike Baxter to fly out to center finishing his 24th save.
Guillermo Moscoso gave up a hit in 2 1-3 innings, Rex Brothers (7-2) allowed a hit in 1 1-3 innings and Belisle got one big out for the Rockies.
Alex White was done after four wild, but effective innings under manager Jim Tracy 's four-man rotation. He allowed three hits and two walks on 83 pitches - 46 strikes. Tracy has been limiting his pitchers to about 75 tosses a game.
"You throw 30 pitches in an inning you got to set your sites on going four innings," White said of his 29-pitch first inning. "It is what it is."
The team could go back to a five-man rotation soon. Jhoulys Chacin (pectoral nerve irritation) is scheduled to make his first start since May 1 on Tuesday and Drew Pomeranz will make his next start Friday, Tracy said. Depending on how Chacin does, all five could remain.
But Tracy said he never considered leaving White in.
"Eighty-three pitches in four innings," Tracy said, "we want better than that."
Dickey was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, and Herrera led off the eighth with a push a bunt toward first base. Reliever Josh Edgin (1-1) tried to shovel the ball with his glove to first baseman Ike Davis but the toss went way off line and Herrera raced to second on the Mets' first error in 10 games.
Herrera advanced to third on Chris Nelson 's sacrifice and scored on a passed ball by Kelly Shoppach , who struck out batting for Josh Thole in the seventh with a runner on first.
The Mets loaded the bases against Brothers in the bottom half, getting a runner past first for the first time since they went ahead 1-0 on Daniel Murphy 's single in the opening inning.
Pinch-hitter Ramon Hernandez had an RBI single off Jon Rauch in the ninth to make it 3-1.
While the Mets have shifted to a six-man rotation to give extra rest to Johan Santana and Chris Young and help limit rookie Matt Harvey 's innings, Dickey will pitch on his regular schedule to give him a couple of more chances at a possible 20-win season.
The knuckleballer was coming off a rough start at Cincinnati in which he was asked to remove two bracelets and matched season highs by giving up three homers and 10 hits.
He had little trouble with the Rockies' injury-depleted lineup. Dickey retired the first eight batters before White looped a single over the outstretched glove of a leaping Murphy, the second baseman. He gave up three hits overall and walked two in seven innings.
But a Mets offense that has averaged less than three runs a game over their previous 13 provided him with little support and he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning of a tie game.
"It's tough, because the first half of the season, we scored a lot of runs and the offense really picked up the pitchers," Dickey said. " So it would be great to have a couple of games where we don't hit the ball where the pitchers pick the hitters up. It doesn't always work that way."
NOTES: The Rockies have won five straight at Citi Field. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez is not expected to return from Venezuela until late Tuesday night and will likely next play on Wednesday. He was placed on the bereavement list Saturday night because of the death of his grandfather. ... Santana is going to have an MRI on his stiff back Tuesday and his scheduled start Thursday is in jeopardy.