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Logan Verrett fills in nicely with eight strong innings as Mets sweep Rockies

Mets starting pitcher Logan Verrett delivers to home

Mets starting pitcher Logan Verrett delivers to home plate during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 23, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. Photo Credit: Getty Images

DENVER - So who needs Matt Harvey?

That's a joke, of course. But Logan Verrett, starting for the first time in the majors, did an amazing Harvey impersonation Sunday in pitching the Mets to a 5-1 victory and a three-game sweep of the Rockies, their first ever at Coors Field.

The Mets announced Friday that Harvey would be skipped due to his innings curfew and named Verrett, who shifted from the bullpen, to be the spot starter. But this was no five-and-fly performance.

Verrett overcame a sluggish first inning -- helped by a run-saving, diving stop by Wilmer Flores -- to stifle a Rockies team that had scored a total of 18 runs in their previous two losses. He allowed only four hits, including a homer by Carlos Gonzalez, and struck out eight in a bullpen-preserving, eight-inning gem.

The Mets remained 5 games ahead of the Nationals, who also won, in the NL East.

Before the game, Collins said he hoped for six innings from Verrett, who has now allowed only two runs in 21 1/3 innings in dual roles for the Mets, good for a 0.84 ERA. Collins pulled Verrett for a pinch-hitter after 93 pitches and went with Hansel Robles for the ninth. Robles overcame a leadoff walk to whiff the dangerous Gonzalez, got a nice backhanded play by Juan Uribe and then struck out Ben Paulsen to end it.

The Mets, fresh off consecutive 14-run outbursts, capitalized on more sloppy play by the Rockies, and especially starter David Hale, who let in two runs on back-to-back wild pitches in the second inning.

Michael Conforto had three hits, including a double, and Flores, Daniel Murphy and Anthony Recker each had an RBI as the Mets won their 10th straight against the Rockies.

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