- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Mets won’t get far in the wild-card race losing games they’re supposed to win.

Oscar Hernandez hit his first major league homer in the 12th inning, leading the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-2 victory over the Mets on Wednesday night for their second consecutive win over the contending team.

The Mets have lost 14 of their past 19 games but remain only 2 1/2 back of the Miami Marlins for the second NL wild card.

“We’ve been through these tough times,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “But we’re just not coming through when we need to as we did a year ago.”

Hernandez was recalled from Double-A Mobile after Arizona placed catcher Welington Castillo on the paternity list Tuesday. Playing his first game this season, Hernandez drove a sinker from Jerry Blevins (4-2) down the left-field line in his fifth at-bat of the season.

He played 18 games with Arizona in 2015 as a Rule 5 draft pick from Tampa Bay, collecting five hits in 31 at-bats. He was optioned to Class A Visalia to begin this season.

“We haven’t really had the season that we wanted to,” Arizona starter Robbie Ray said. “Wins like these are huge.”

The Mets’ Kelly Johnson forced extra innings with a two-run homer in the ninth off closer Jake Barrett. The blown save was Barrett’s fourth in eight chances.

“I thought we were going to win the game,” Collins said. “I just thought with the momentum, the energy, I thought we were going to get a base hit and win the game. We just didn’t do it.”

Johnson’s blast was needed after Ray spun seven shutout innings, scattering three hits and striking out four. Ray was perfect until Ty Kelly’s fourth-inning single.

Paul Goldschmidt went 2 for 4, driving in the first two Arizona runs, and Jean Segura and Chris Owings each had three hits. Segura added two stolen bases and scored two runs. Arizona stole four bases on the night and has nine steals through the first two games in the series, breaking the franchise mark for steals in a three-game series with Thursday’s matchup still to come. New York came into the game with a minus-67 stolen base differential, the worst mark in the majors.

“We knew they were an aggressive running team coming in, so they’re doing exactly what we thought they would,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said.

Bartolo Colon started for the Mets, allowing one run on seven hits, striking out eight over seven innings of work. Colon has allowed one run or fewer in nine starts this season. The eight strikeouts matched a season-high. Arizona is the only major league team Colon has never beaten.

Neil Walker added two hits for the Mets, who fell to 0-3 in extra-inning games played at Citi Field.

T.J. Rivera, from nearby Throgs Neck in the Bronx, made his major league debut at third base in front of about 30 friends and family members. He picked up his first big league hit in the tenth and handled all of his chances in the field.

“I think after I got my first hit, it kind of felt like, OK, a lot of weight comes off,” Rivera said.

Randall Delgado (3-1) pitched two perfect innings for the win.

TRAINING ROOM

Mets: INF Jose Reyes (oblique) will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Brooklyn on Thursday. His assignment had been delayed because the switch-hitter was still having trouble swinging from the right side, general manager Sandy Alderson said on Tuesday.

CAPTAIN AMERICA IS GENEROUS TOO

Injured Mets star David Wright made sure that those closest to Rivera were close by when the infielder made his debut. Wright gave Rivera four tickets behind home plate so that his parents, wife and sister could be within earshot of the 27-year old.

PLAY “WIFFLE” BALL

Arizona’s Patrick Corbin joined New York’s Wilmer Flores and Rene Rivera at a “Play Ball Derby” at Hudson River Park’s Pier 63. The players participated in a wiffle ball derby, launching balls into the river at floating targets. Children from local Boys and Girls clubs and other baseball organizations participated alongside the players. Corbin, the non-hitter of the group, “won” the derby.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-6, 2.64 ERA) looks to snap a career-worst five-start winless streak. The All-Star hurler struggled in his last start, allowing four runs in six innings in Detroit, but has pitched to a 5-3 record with a 2.41 ERA at Citi Field this season.

Diamondbacks: RHP Braden Shipley (1-1, 4.15 ERA) takes to the mound in the series finale for his fourth major league start. After struggling in his debut, he’s thrown back-to-back quality starts, allowing two runs over his last 12 innings.


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