PHOENIX — Marcus Stroman ticked off the Diamondbacks, awakening an asleep team Tuesday night.
Whatever caused Josh Rojas to begin jawing with Stroman as players were leaving the field after the fifth inning may have derailed the pitcher, and ultimately the Mets.
On a night the recently hot bats simmered and Stroman caved (along with Edwin Diaz and Trevor May), in a 6-5 loss in 10 innings at Chase Field that snapped the Mets’ five-game winning streak.
May surrendered a walkoff double to Josh Reddick after walking Pavin Smith with one out and the automatic runner on second.
Previously struggling James McCann, who has emerged offensively in recent days, delivered with an RBI single in the top of the inning against lefty Alex Young after Jose Peraza began the inning as the automatic runner at second base.
Rojas stroked an RBI single in the ninth to tie it 4-4, handing Diaz his first blown save of the season. Billy McKinney misplayed Nick Ahmed’s single, allowing the runner to reach second. The run became earned with Ketel Marte’s single after Rojas had tied the game.
Tensions flared after Rojas was retired for the final out in the fifth. As the Mets were leaving the field, Rojas began yelling at Stroman, prompting the benches and bullpens to empty. David Peralta got in Stroman’s face, but order was restored without punches thrown.
It wasn’t the first benches clearing incident involving the Mets this season. On April 30 in Philadelphia, Jose Alvarado began jawing with Dominic Smith, prompting players to stream onto the field. That tension stemmed from weeks earlier when Alvarado threw high and inside to Michael Conforto before plunking him.
After order was restored Tuesday, the Mets built from a 2-0 lead. Francisco Lindor just missed a two-run homer, blasting an RBI triple to center field after Jonathan Villar singled leading off the inning. Smith’s sacrifice fly extended that lead to 4-0.
But the Diamondbacks made it a game in the bottom of the inning, using Pavin Smith’s three-run homer against Stroman to pull within 4-3. Stroman had allowed just four hits as the inning began, but surrendered consecutive singles to Marte and Eduardo Escobar to begin the frame. Smith then cleared the right-field fence on a 92-mph sinker that didn’t bite.
It marked just the third time in 12 starts this season Stroman allowed as many as three earned runs. He departed after the final out in the sixth visibly angry about the ball he left over the plate for Smith.
Familia escaped a jam in the seventh, after Jonathan Villar threw away Ahmed’s grounder for a two-base error leading off the inning. Familia recorded two quick outs, walked Marte and struck out Escobar, celebrating with a dance as he came off the mound. Loup pitched a perfect eighth before Diaz’s hiccup in the ninth.
Dominic Smith snapped a home run drought that had extended to 138 at-bats dating to April 13 with a two-run blast in the fourth that got the Mets on the scoreboard. Pete Alonso delivered a two-out single before Smith crushed a slider over the center-field fence for his third homer of the season. Smith entered play batting only .148 against sliders.
Stroman breezed into the middle innings after encountering minimal resistance early. In the second inning he allowed a two-out single to Stephen Vogt before unleashing a wild pitch, but struck out Nick Ahmed. In the third, Stroman surrendered a two-out double to Marte before retiring Escobar. In the fifth, Vogt was caught looking at strike three after Josh Reddick had delivered a two-out single.
Over five innings, Diamondbacks left-hander Caleb Smith allowed two earned runs on three hits with two strikeouts and one walk. It was just the second start this season for Smith, who has 19 appearances in relief.