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Diamondbacks fall short in DH sweep bid

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NEW YORK (AP) — Thanks to some misfortune by the Mets and some solid defense of their own in the opener, the Diamondbacks had something to show for an oh-fer day.

Arizona came up nearly empty against Daisuke Matsuzaka in the second game of a single-admission doubleheader, losing 4-2 to the New York Mets on Sunday for a split.

In the opener, the Diamondbacks rode a homer by Chris Owings, a miscue by Daniel Murphy in the ninth and a season high-tying five double plays for a 2-1 victory.

But they were a combined 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position in a twin-bill made necessary when Friday night’s game was washed out in the fourth inning.

“We could mount no offense at all,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “It’s not coming to them real easy right now, so we’re going to get on a plane and we’ll try to figure it out.”

The Diamondbacks head back to Phoenix where they will host the San Diego Padres on Monday night after a 2-4 trip.

Bronson Arroyo, in the opener, and Triple-A Reno callup Zeke Spruill gave their teammates a chance, though. Arroyo got some timely groundballs for four double plays in going six innings.

Gibson said he would’ve kept Arroyo in longer but the right-hander had some elbow tenderness. Arroyo insisted he will be OK.

“I’ll be fine. I’ll make my next start,” Arroyo said. “But there are just some times when your shoulder is beat up, your elbow is beat up, your back is beat up, there’s times when you’re grinding through (stuff).”

In the opener, the Diamondbacks broke a 1-all tie when A.J. Pollock, who doubled off Mejia (4-1), scored as Murphy dropped David Wright’s force attempt at second base on Owings’ grounder to third.

Owings homered off Rafael Montero and Wright had an RBI single off Arroyo, both runs coming in the first.

Addison Reed earned his 14th save after giving up two hits with one out.

“Kind of a bizarre game that worked out in our favor,” Arroyo said.

In the late game, Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched six solid innings in a spot start and helped the hitting-starved Mets with an RBI single and Bobby Abreu added a run-scoring double in a rare chance to play.

Anthony Recker had a career high four hits. Pinch-hitter Ruben Tejada hit a tiebreaking single off Spruill in the sixth inning for the Mets.

Murphy added an RBI single in the eighth for New York. Jenrry Mejia pitched the ninth for his third save after getting the loss in the first game.

The 33-year-old Matsuzaka (2-0) made 123 starts and one relief appearance in seven big league seasons before being called up by the Mets in mid-April to work out of the bullpen.

Other than a three-batter sequence in the second when Aaron Hill led off with a single, Martin Prado got a favorable carom for an RBI triple and Cody Ross followed with a run-scoring groundout, Matsuzka was sharp. He struck out six, walked one and hit a batter.

He also excelled at the plate. A career .185 hitter, Matsuzaka got a run back for the Mets when he sent a broken-bat flare into left field in the second inning.

Hill had to leave the finale a couple of innings after he fouled a ball off his left ankle in the fourth inning.

“It blew up pretty big on him, the top of his ankle, so I had to get him out of there,” Gibson said. “I think it’ll be OK, but it’s pretty swollen up; he couldn’t hit.”

After Lucas Duda and Chris Young each stranded six runners and grounded into a combined three double plays in the first game, Collins mixed up a lineup that was 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position in the opener. The Mets were 4 for 13 in the finale.

The 40-year-old Abreu was making only his sixth start since coming up five weeks ago and he had two hits, driving in the tying run in the fifth with a double off Spruill, the Diamondbacks’ 26th man for the two games.

Tejada hit for Matsuzaka in the bottom of the sixth and had an RBI single. He drove in Recker, who doubled.

Spruill gave up 10 hits and three runs in 5 1-3 innings. He got the call after throwing 13 1-3 scoreless innings over two starts for Reno. He hoped to have the same success here.

“I wanted to do exactly what I was doing down there,” Spruill said. “Just keep the same tempo, trying to throw strikes, make some pitches.”

He added: “I was getting a little tired at the end but I still felt good. I was happy with it.”

Duda had the double play that hurt the most, though. With first and third, he hit a sharp grounder off Evan Marshall (2-0) to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who threw home. Catcher Miguel Montero made a perfect relay back to Goldschmidt at first base. Duda also left six on base and was lustily booed.

NOTES: Gibson said new Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa is busy assessing the minor league system but they stay in contact with text messages. … Mets C Travis d’Arnaud (concussion) caught five innings and went 1 for 3 with a two-run homer for Double-A Binghamton in his first rehab game.