Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/29/12

DENVER -- After using five relievers for five innings Friday night in an excruciating loss, the Mets sent Dillon Gee to the mound Saturday. They were hoping he could restore order against the Rockies at Coors Field and complete a specific task.

"We needed some innings, there was no question," Mets manager Terrry Collins said. "Dillon was going to have throw 100 pitches today, I thought, because we were just short in the 'pen."

Gee did everything he was asked by pitching seven innings and throwing a career-high 116 pitches as the Mets beat the Rockies 7-5. He overcame a three-run fourth and retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced, including the final seven.

Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs, and Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy and David Wright each had three hits as the Mets rebounded from an 18-9 loss highlighted by the Rockies' 11-run fifth. Having witnessed that outburst and the Rockies' 19-hit attack, Gee knew a challenge awaited.

"I knew I was going to have to be sharp coming in tonight against a team like they have over there and in this park," Gee said. "I knew I need to be on to get a 'W' here."

Guillermo Moscoso made his Rockies debut after being recalled to take the place of Jeremy Guthrie, who had been scheduled to start but sprained his right shoulder in a cycling accident on his way to Coors Field on Friday.

Moscoso allowed six runs and nine hits, including seven singles, in five innings and threw 100 pitches. He gave up a two-run homer to Duda in the second and three straight two-out hits in the third, the last a run-scoring double by Wright.

The Rockies' three-run fourth gave Moscoso a 4-3 lead, but Moscoso gave up three runs in the fifth on four consecutive two-out singles.

"Tonight boils down to a couple innings where we weren't able to put innings down," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "In the third and the fifth, we had two outs and nobody on."

Moscoso, acquired from the A's in January in the deal that sent outfielder Seth Smith to Oakland, struck out Gee and Kirk Nieuwenhuis to start the fifth. But singles by Tejada, Murhpy and Wright netted the tying run, and after Wright stole second base, Duda drove in two runs on a single up the middle.

Referring to the 2-2 fastball that Duda drove up the middle, Moscoso said, "I thought I made that pitch down and away. He got long arms, extend his arms. He got the groundball up the middle."

Tracy said Moscoso did well to get ahead in counts and get to strikes and gave him a close-but-not-quite endorsement.

"He gave us a very competitive outing, but it had a chance to be an outstanding outing if he gets those couple of innings down."

Gee, who was pitching on his 26th birthday, made his first career start against the Rockies. He gave up an unearned run in the first when Marco Scutaro led off with a singled and scampered to third when he stole second and catcher Josh Thole threw the ball into center field.

The Rockies strung together four hits to open their three-run fourth. Todd Helton's 560th double tied him with Hall of Famer Eddie Murray and Jeff Kent for 22nd all-time and scored a run, and singles by Michael Cuddyer and Mosdoso -- his first major league hit and RBI -- put the Rockies ahead 4-3.

"It's tough not get down on yourself (after giving up three runs)," Gee said, "but I've been working really hard to stay positive out there, just trying to make the best of what you're given out there.

"I was proud of the way I settled down and gave the team a chance to come back."

Collins said he thought Gee could have gone out for the eighth, but he had matched his season high with seven innings and had thrown 116 pitches, so he turned to left-hander Tim Byrdak to face the middle of the Rockies lineup. Byrdak retired Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton in order.

The Mets gave closer Frank Francisco a three-run lead when pinch hitter Mike Baxter blooped a double to right in the ninth and scored on a wild pitch by Edgmer Escalona.

Dexter Fowler homered with two out in the ninth, his fourth homer of the season and second in two games. Pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin followed with a triple to deep left center that went beyond the grasp of Nieuwenhuis' dive in center field. Pinch-hitter Jason Giambi then lined to Nieuwenhuis, who made a running catch to end the game, and allow Collins, who knows how fragile leads are at Coors Field, to exhale.

"They're never safe here," he said. "I've seen way too many games to know. They hit last; they're dangerous. Until they change that, they're never out of a game here."

NOTES: Mets catcher Josh Thole went 0-for-4, ending his career-high 10-game hitting streak. He had reached base in the previous 18 games he played this season. ... Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, who underwent Tommy John surgery June 3, pitched six innings Friday against the A's in an extended spring training game and allowed three hits and one earned run with one walk and nine strikeouts. Manager Jim Tracy said De La Rosa hit 91-92 mph with his fastball and felt good Saturday. ... Mets manager Terry Collins didn't have slumping first baseman Ike Davis in his lineup Friday night against left-hander Drew Pomeranz but plans to start Davis the rest of the road trip even though the Mets will face three left-handed starters -- Jamie Moyer here Sunday and J.A. Happ and Wandy Rodriguez in a three-game series at Houston. Davis is hitting .132 (9 for 68) with three homers, seven RBI and a team-leading 22 strikeouts, but Collins said Davis won't overcome his slump on the bench. "Not playing him is not helping him," Collins said before the game. Davis went 1-for-3 with an infield single walk and a deep fly to center, and Collins said he thought Davis "swung the bat much, much better."... Tracy said Guthrie played catch Saturday and was understandably sore. Guthrie is eligible to be activated May 8 at San Diego, and Tracy said the Rockies are planning on him being ready to make that start. ... Tracy expects Drew Pomeranz to make his start as scheduled Wednesday against the Dodgers. He left Friday after four innings with left forearm tightness. ... Scott Hairston's cycle Friday was the 10th in Mets history and first since Jose Reyes on June 21, 2006, against the Reds. It was also the first cycle in the majors this season.

Most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season
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