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NEW YORK (AP) — Apparently all Jacob deGrom needed were his curveball and changeup.
The NL Rookie of the Year used his off-speed pitches more to bounce back from two subpar starts with seven overpowering innings, Dilson Herrera hit his first homer of the season among three hits and the New York Mets won their eighth straight over the Baltimore Orioles, 5-1 on Wednesday night.
"He's a guy that used all his pitches," manager Terry Collins said. "We wanted him to re-establish that."
And he did.
DeGrom (3-3) struck out nine, yielding six hits and a run after allowing at least five runs in consecutive starts for the first time in his career.
Curtis Granderson homered and had a sacrifice fly off a shaky Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2) as the Mets finished their homestand 3-3. They dropped three of four to Washington before a two-game sweep of Baltimore.
Herrera got the Mets on the board with a groundball up the middle in the second. He was off to a 1-for-13 start since his call up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday. The second baseman hit a two-run shot to left off Brad Barch in the sixth — he held up at second base while a 33-second replay review showed the ball hit a railing above the wall.
"I didn't have to make a big adjustment," Herrera said through a translator on his breakout game. "I just let the ball travel a little more."
The Orioles last beat the Mets on June 18, 2009. Baltimore next heads across the East River for a four-game series against the AL East-leading Yankees.
DeGrom got his first hit after opening the season 0 for 10. He also made several sharp plays, the most important coming in the fifth when he started off the inning by hitting Everth Cabrera with a pitch.
Pinch-hitter Travis Snider singled to put runners on first and third. Alejandro De Aza then attempted a safety squeeze. DeGrom bounded off the mound to field the bunt toward the first base side and made a quick throw to third baseman Daniel Murphy, who applied the tag while giving Cabrera, who tried going in standing up, little room to get back to the base.
"Bottom line is if we slid there we would have been safe," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Jimmy Paredes had an RBI single before deGrom walked Adam Jones to load the bases. But Chris Davis struck out for the third time, throwing his bat and helmet in disgust.
"I was thinking I can't walk him here, make him beat me with the bat so I went right after him there," deGrom said.
Jimenez lasted only four innings, giving up three runs, six hits and two walks.
"I did not have any feel for my breaking ball tonight," Jimenez said. "I was getting ahead of batters in the first couple of innings, but I just couldn't put them away."
Orioles: C Matt Wieters (elbow) was the DH in an extended spring game. He will catch six or seven innings Thursday. ... LHP Wesley Wright (trapezius muscle strain) will throw off a mound for the first time on Monday.
Mets: Collins said the team will have to figure out how to get playing time for Cs Travis d'Arnaud (right pinkie) and rookie Kevin Plawecki when d'Arnaud returns if Plawecki continues to impress. "I certainly don't know when Travis is coming back. The closer he gets — and we'll see how Kevin's playing at the time — I think you've got to give yourself an idea of how this is going to work." Collins said d'Arnaud indicated he could play outfield and that Plawecki has experience at first base.
Orioles: Don't have to pack their bags. They open a series Thursday night in the Bronx against the Yankees. ... SS J.J. Hardy (shoulder) could be activated from the DL for the opener.
Mets: Have a day off before heading to Philadelphia, where RHP Matt Harvey will try to improve to 6-0 for the season. LHP Cole Hamels (1-3) gets the ball for the Phillies.
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