DENVER – Guillermo Moscoso's game plan was to make the New York Mets put the ball in play. They were all too happy to oblige.
Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer in the second and had a tie-breaking, two-run single in the fifth to lead the Mets to a 7-5 win and spoil Moscoso's debut with the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
Moscoso (0-1), recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs earlier in the day, gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings. He got the start in place of Jeremy Guthrie, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list after spraining his right shoulder in a fall from his bicycle on Friday.
It wasn't the homer that beat Moscoso as much as it was the seven singles he surrendered.
"I was pitching for contact," he said. "I was trying to keep the ball down and get my ground balls. They had a lot of singles, slow bloopers."
He also struggled to finish innings, and it cost him a run in the third and three in the fifth. Staked to a 4-3 lead in the fifth, Moscoso retired the first two batters before the Mets strung together four straight singles to go ahead 6-4.
"In the third and the top of the fifth, in both situations we had two outs and nobody on," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "Actually, the same group of hitters that produced a run in the third inning were the same group of hitters that put together hits and produced three runs in the fifth inning."
That was all Mets starter Dillon Gee needed. Gee shook off one tough inning in an otherwise strong outing on his 26th birthday.
Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy and David Wright each added three hits and scored five times collectively, helping the Mets bounce back from Friday night's sloppy 18-9 loss to Colorado.
Gee (2-2) allowed four runs in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two, keeping the Rockies in check for most of the night except for a rough patch in the fourth when Colorado scored three of its runs.
Frank Francisco gave up a two-out solo homer to Dexter Fowler and a triple to pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin before retiring pinch-hitter Jason Giambi on a sinking liner to center that Kirk Nieuwenhuis caught on a dead run for his fifth save in as many chances.
"Dillon Gee, he settled down and from the fifth inning until there were two outs in the bottom of the ninth, we got only one more hit," Tracy said. "Then Dexter Fowler hits the home run, Tyler hits the triple and we have Jason Giambi standing up there with the tying run."
Moscoso was acquired in January as part of the trade that sent outfielder Seth Smith to the Oakland Athletics.
Trailing 4-3 going into the fifth, the Mets collected four consecutive two-out hits, including Wright's RBI single and Duda's tie-breaking two-run single to go up 6-4. The Mets added a run in the ninth when pinch-hitter Mike Baxter doubled, went to third on a groundout and scored on reliever Edgmer Escalon's wild pitch.
"They were able to battle and fight and find some holes," Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. "They were hitting it where nobody was and rolling balls through the infield. It's frustrating but we've still got a chance to win the series."
Duda hit his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot, off Moscoso in the second and Wright's run-scoring double in the third gave New York a 3-1 lead.
The Rockies regained the lead with a three-run fourth. Carlos Gonzales led off the inning with a bunt single, Troy Tulowitzki singled and Todd Helton followed with an RBI double. Cuddyer had an RBI single and came home two outs later on a single by Moscoso, who delivered his first major-league hit and run batted in.
The Mets got off to a shaky start when catcher Josh Thole's throwing error in the first inning opened the door to the Rockies' first run. New York committed six errors — one shy of the team high — in Friday night's 18-9 loss to Colorado.
Marco Scutaro singled to start the inning and then stole second base, advancing to third when Thole's throw sailed into center field. Scutaro scored an unearned run on Tulowitzki's fielder's choice.
NOTES: Rockies LHP Jamie Moyer (1-2), who became the oldest pitcher to earn a win in major league history two weeks ago, will be on the mound for Sunday's finale. The Mets counter with Johan Santana (0-2), who has pitched well but will be looking for his first win of the season. ... Helton hit his 560th career double in the fourth, tying him with Eddie Murray and Jeff Kent for 22nd all-time. ... Mets CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who attended Denver Christian High School, had his father and other members of his family on hand in seats behind the visitor's dugout.