ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rookie right-hander Dillon Gee overcame an early case of the jitters and 94-degree heat to keep a potent Texas lineup relatively quiet and beat the team he followed as a kid.Gee pitched six effective innings and Jose Reyes had four hits and scored three runs to lead the New York Mets past the Rangers 8-5 on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Gee (8-1) recovered from a shaky start in the follow-up to his only loss of the season. Making his first appearance against the Rangers, he allowed three runs and eight hits with two walks despite having less-than-stellar stuff.
“I was a little nervous,” said Gee, who estimated he had as many as 50 friends and family members in the crowd. “It was really weird being here and pitching. They’re an amazing hitting club so I felt pretty pleased with what I did today, especially with not very good stuff.”
Gee, who walked a career-high six over four innings in his previous outing, has given up only eight earned runs in five June starts. He grew up in north Texas and played college ball at Texas-Arlington, attending many games at Rangers Ballpark as a kid.
Daniel Murphy added three hits for the Mets, who have won four of five overall to climb back to .500 at 39-39. They took two of three from the AL West leaders to open a key stretch of 13 of 16 games on the road.
“Huge,” manager Terry Collins said of winning the deciding game of the series. “Coming into this 16 days, winning two out of three here against that club with that offence is a great start for us.”
Texas’ Michael Young homered in his third straight game to match a career high, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Young had three RBIs as one of the Rangers’ few bright spots in a sloppy performance that included two errors and several other misplays.
The Mets scored a run in the first off Derek Holland (6-3) when Reyes reached on an infield hit, stole second, advanced to third on a flyout and scored on a passed ball.
Gee retired his first two batters in the first, but Young hit his fourth homer in five games and Mitch Moreland added an RBI single for a 2-1 Texas lead.
The Rangers had the bases loaded with two outs in the first, but Reyes made an outstanding play on Taylor Teagarden’s hard-hit grounder to get a forceout at second and limit the damage.
“It would have been a lot worse if he didn’t make that play,” Gee said. “He really saved me there.”
Gee relied primarily on his fastball in the first inning. He was more successful in his final five innings when he started mixing in more curveballs.
In the second, Ronny Paulino scored from third when third baseman Adrian Beltre threw wildly to the plate for an error after fielding Angel Pagan’s grounder.
Later in the inning, Reyes’ RBI single and Carlos Beltran’s two-run single gave the Mets a 5-2 edge.
Young’s run-scoring single in the fifth pulled the Rangers within 5-3.
In the sixth, Murphy’s run-scoring double and Ruben Tejada’s RBI single padded the Mets’ lead to 7-3.
Rangers manager Ron Washington and injured shortstop Elvis Andrus were ejected in the top of the sixth by plate umpire Andy Fletcher.
Pitching coach Mike Maddux was making a visit to the mound and made a comment to Fletcher. Washington, who had earlier argued two close plays on the bases that went against the Rangers, ran onto the field and was quickly tossed by Fletcher.
Andrus, who wasn’t in the game due to a sprained left wrist, was also thrown out, although Collins said Young was doing most of the yelling from the dugout.
“I wanted (Young) out,” Collins said. “I was tired of watching Young hit the ball out of the ballpark. And that’s who it was, too.”
Young refused to use the umpiring as an excuse.
“I’m never going to blame a loss on a call,” he said. “It’s our job to find a way to win ballgames no matter what happens.”
Holland gave up seven runs — three earned — in six-plus innings.
Texas scored twice in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez on Endy Chavez’s RBI double and Young’s run-scoring grounder.
The Mets had 22 runs and 31 hits in the final two games of the three-game set, and they managed the offensive output without a home run in the series.
“We press the other team,” Reyes said. “We know we’re not going to hit many home runs. Everybody contributes.”
NOTES: Rangers OF Josh Hamilton was given the day off after striking out four times in Saturday’s 14-5 loss. The reigning AL MVP is batting .115 in day games this season. He tried contact lenses on Saturday to combat the glare, but scrapped the idea before his final at-bat because he was having problems with depth perception. … Andrus sat out his second straight game and isn’t sure when he’ll be back in the lineup. He said the injury isn’t serious enough for him to need to go on the disabled list. … Mets LHP Jonathon Niese will be examined by a cardiologist Tuesday in Detroit after experiencing a rapid heartbeat during Saturday’s start. The Mets say the exam is strictly precautionary. … LF Jason Bay (stiff neck) and 3B Justin Turner (jammed thumb) were back in the New York lineup after missing Saturday’s game.
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