NEW YORK — Jacob deGrom struck out nine in a successful return from the injured list and Tomás Nido hit a tiebreaking homer to send the depleted New York Mets past the Colorado Rockies 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Back from a bout with tightness on his right side, deGrom gave up only Ryan McMahon’s solo homer in five innings of three-hit ball. The two-time Cy Young Award winner fired his usual assortment of 100 mph fastballs and nasty sliders during his first major league outing since May 9.
He walked none and was removed after 63 pitches. The nimble right-hander, who also singled at the plate for his eighth hit in seven games this season, went three innings last Thursday in a rehab appearance for Class A St. Lucie, fanning eight.
Nido connected for a two-run shot off Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-3) in the sixth after Dominic Smith singled. Nido stopped at second when umpires initially ruled the ball in play, but they changed the call to a home run without benefit of replay following a huddle in the infield.
Cameras showed the ball indeed barely cleared the wall in left-center.
Nido then waved his arms to spur on the Citi Field crowd as he finished rounding the bases with his third homer of the season. The backup catcher has been pressed into more regular duty lately because New York has 16 players on the injured list, most in the majors.
Despite all the injuries, the Mets (22-20) lead the NL East. They snapped a three-game slide and won for the fourth time in 11 games.
Colorado had won a season-best four straight.
Miguel Castro (1-1) struck out four in two hitless innings for the win. Edwin Díaz whiffed three in the ninth for his eighth save.
Gonzalez relieved Kyle Freeland, who permitted one run and four hits with five strikeouts over four innings in his season debut. Freeland, fourth in 2018 NL Cy Young Award balloting, had been sidelined with a strained pitching shoulder since his spring training start on March 23.
New York pulled off a double steal in the first inning and Jonathan Villar scored on an RBI groundout by James McCann.
Rockies: Freeland was reinstated from the 10-day injured list. To make room on the roster, LHP Lucas Gilbreath was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque after Monday night’s game.
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard was pulled from his second rehab outing with Class A St. Lucie after one inning because of soreness in his pitching elbow. Syndergaard is coming back from Tommy John surgery on March 26 last year. The team said he was removed from the game as a precaution. … 3B J.D. Davis (sprained left hand) left his rehab assignment at Triple-A Syracuse and was headed back to New York for more treatment as the club determines the next step. … RHP Taijuan Walker threw live batting practice to two hitters and manager Luis Rojas said it was “very encouraging.” Walker is scheduled to play catch Wednesday and throw a “touch and feel” on Thursday. Rojas said he doesn’t expect Walker to need a rehab start before returning to the rotation. He has been out since May 18 due to tightness in his right side. … New York was awaiting MRI results on rookie CF Johneshwy Fargas, who sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder when he crashed into the outfield wall trying to make a catch Monday night. Fargas’ left arm was in a sling Tuesday afternoon. … RHP Jordan Yamamoto was placed on the 10-Day injured list, retroactive to Monday, with right shoulder soreness. … INF Jake Hager was claimed off waivers by Milwaukee.
Rockies: RHP German Márquez (3-4, 4.82 ERA) starts Wednesday night in the third game of a four-game series. He is coming off seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts last Friday at home in a win over Arizona. Márquez is 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in four career starts against the Mets, including a 7-2 win at Coors Field on April 17. He is tied for the major league lead with 30 walks.
Mets: RHP Marcus Stroman (3-4, 2.75) is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts covering 22 innings against Colorado, all at Coors Field. He threw eight innings of three-hit ball to beat the Rockies 2-1 on April 18. Stroman has given up only eight extra-base hits in 52 2/3 innings this year, the second-fewest in the majors (minimum 50 innings).