CINCINNATI — When the Mets sent Rafael Montero to the minors at midseason, the message was blunt: Throw strikes or you won’t be back. This time, it sunk in.
Montero gave the best performance of his up-and-down career Wednesday night, taking a one-hitter into the ninth inning. New York held on for a 2-0 victory that extended its dominance over the Cincinnati Reds.
“He’s learning one thing right now: His stuff in the strike zone can get outs,” manager Terry Collins said. “He pitched brilliantly.”
Montero (3-9) allowed only Joey Votto’s double through the first eight innings. Collins decided to let him try for the shutout — he’d never gone more than 7 1/3 innings — and the Reds loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on two hits and an intentional walk to Votto.
A.J. Ramos fanned Adam Duvall and Scooter Gennett for his 26th save in 28 chances.
Tigers 6, Rockies 2
DENVER (AP) — Justin Verlander struck out nine over six commanding innings and aided his own cause by driving in his first career run.
Verlander (10-8) allowed one run and three hits. His only mistake was a curveball that Charlie Blackmon hit for a solo homer in the sixth. Verlander ignited the offense with an RBI single in the second.