Jack Dempsey, Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — Time to head home and warm up.
A frigid road trip for the New York Mets came to a miserable end Thursday when Jon Garland and the Colorado Rockies completed a three-game sweep with an 11-3 victory at Coors Field.
It was a disruptive trek for New York, which went 3-5 on what was supposed to be a 10-game swing. Wintry weather wiped out Sunday's series finale in Minnesota, and heavy snow that hit Denver forced a pair of postponements this week and a frosty doubleheader on Tuesday.
"This has been a tough trip," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We're glad it's over and we know the weather's going to start changing, soon start getting baseball weather. We've got to start taking BP like we normally do and get back on our schedule."
New York finally returns to Citi Field to face the Washington Nationals on Friday night, with Matt Harvey set to pitch against Stephen Strasburg in a marquee matchup.
Jonathon Niese gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings while pitching in raw conditions Thursday for the second consecutive start. He lasted five innings in snowy weather for the win Friday in Minnesota.
"It was real tough but at the same time we have to stay on our toes," Niese said. "We have to be ready at all times. In weather like this, you've got to strap it on and play. The lack of scheduling shouldn't be an excuse, but it was tough. It was tough to get into a routine."
It was 28 degrees when Garland threw the first pitch, and he worked seven solid innings in the finale of a series that was supposed to be four games.
The crowd was announced at 18,341 as the Rockies matched a team record for the coldest home start. A game against the Montreal Expos on April 12, 1997, was played in a similarly frigid conditions.
Garland (2-0) allowed two runs and six hits. He walked none and struck out four.
Troy Tulowitzki homered and hit a go-ahead single. Dexter Fowler and Josh Rutledge also went deep as the Rockies won their sixth straight home game.
Eric Young Jr. and Carlos Gonzalez added three hits apiece for Colorado.
Leading 3-2 after Tulowitzki singled off Niese (2-1) to drive in Gonzalez, the Rockies broke it open with a six-run seventh inning against three relievers.
Colorado got a two-run single from Wilin Rosario, a two-run double from Todd Helton and RBI singles from Chris Nelson and pinch-hitter Reid Brignac. In fact, Brignac batted in place of Jordan Pacheco, who began the inning as a pinch-hitter for Garland.
Helton's double was the 573rd of his career, moving him past Ivan Rodriguez for 20th on baseball's all-time list.
"There are certain situations that come up in the game, that's what guys are here for," Collins said of his bullpen. "Cargo hits everybody, he's a little different case. There are guys that when they're here there are certain roles they play. They've got to start getting people out. Ultimately that's going to be a concern."
Fowler connected for his seventh homer and Tulowitzki for his fourth in the eighth off right-hander Jeremy Hefner, a member of the rotation who took the mound in relief.
The Rockies finished with 17 hits, doing most of their damage against the Mets' bullpen.
Rutledge snapped a 1-all tie in the fourth when he drove a changeup from Niese into the left-field bleachers for his second home run of the season.
New York evened the score at 2 on David Wright's second RBI single, a comebacker that glanced off Garland's glove in the sixth.
NOTES: The Mets-Rockies game scheduled for Wednesday that was wiped out by another snowstorm will be made up at Coors Field on June 27 at 4:10 p.m. ... Ike Davis' run-scoring single in the eighth snapped his string of 10 consecutive games without an RBI, which tied a career high. ... Harvey (3-0) traveled back home Thursday ahead of the team. ... Mets minor league catcher Travis d'Arnaud broke his left foot when he was hit by a foul tip Wednesday with Triple-A Las Vegas. He was returning to New York to be examined by team doctors Friday. There was no timetable for his return and surgery is a possibility. The 24-year-old d'Arnaud, a top prospect, was a key piece in the offseason trade that sent NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto. ... Mets RHP Shaun Marcum (neck) threw 41 pitches in an extended spring training game. He struck out five in four hitless innings. ... New York closer Frank Francisco (elbow) tossed a hitless inning Wednesday night for Class-A St. Lucie in his first rehab outing. LHP Pedro Feliciano (shoulder) also pitched in that game, striking out two in a scoreless inning. ... Rockies OF Michael Cuddyer was scratched from the lineup as a precaution because of a tender hamstring.
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