DENVER -- The Rockies' fortunes shifted with the changing winds at Coors Field on Saturday, and after punishing the Mets with 18 runs on 19 hits in the series opener, they could only muster five runs on nine hits, falling to the Mets, 7-5.
The Rockies took the early lead when Marco Scutaro led off the first with a single to left, stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error from catcher Josh Thole. Scutaro later scored on a one-out grounder from Troy Tulowitzki.
Guillermo Moscoso came up from Triple-A Colorado Springs as an emergency roster replacement for scheduled starter Jeremy Guthrie, who hurt his shoulder in a bike accident Friday. Moscoso got the call barely 24 hours before the game, hopped a flight from California, and opened the game with a 1-2-3 first. But in the second, he yielded an infield single to David Wright and a two-run homer to Lucas Duda into the Mets' right-field bullpen to lose the lead.
"I was pitching for contact," Moscoso said. "They didn't hit me very hard, other than the homer. I was trying to keep the ball down and get my ground balls. They had a lot of singles today. Next start I just have to get that quick out. Try to go deep in the game, two more innings [for] seven."
The middle of the order gave Moscoso trouble every time he faced them. In the third, the Mets staged a two-out rally with consecutive singles from Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy, and Wright, who plated Murphy to extend the Mets' lead. Then in the fifth, those same three delivered three more singles with Wright knocking Tejada home again and Duda adding a two-run single.
"We tried to get away with one pitch with two outs twice in the fifth," Moscoso said. "Tejada got me twice. He's swinging the bat very well, in, out, down, up. It was a little bit frustrating. I thought I made that pitch down and away in the fifth. That was the pitch I wanted to throw. He has long arms and he extended his arms and got it."
That fifth-inning rally neutralized the Rockies' fourth frame, when they opened the inning with four straight hits from Carlos Gonzalez, Tulowitzki, Todd Helton and Michael Cuddyer. Helton's double was the 560th of his career, tying him for 22nd on the all-time list with Eddie Murray and Jeff Kent.
The Rockies got only one more hit in the game until the bottom of the ninth with two outs.
"He worked quick, threw strikes," Cuddyer said of Mets starter Dillon Gee, who got significantly better after the fourth. "He mixed all of his pitches, changed speeds well, mixed his location up. He pitched a good game."
Gee recovered from the fourth and retired 10 of the last 11 hitters he faced, pitching seven innings and holding the Rockies to four runs on seven hits while striking out seven and throwing a career-high 116 pitches.
"They can't get caught up in big innings here because they're going to happen," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Gee's turnaround. "They've got to keep pitching. So he came into the dugout and got ready for the next inning. He made better pitches. I thought his change of speeds was much better as the game wore on. I'm actually sure he probably could have gone out there for another inning."
Moscoso was done after five, leaving with six runs on nine hits and a walk. He gave up a double, a homer, and seven singles on 97 pitches before yielding to the bullpen.
"Guillermo did a wonderful jog of getting into counts, getting ahead in counts, getting to two-strike counts, and they got some hits with two strikes off him," Tracy said. "He gave us a very competitive outing, but it had a chance of being an outstanding outing if he gets those innings down."
Matt Reynolds, Josh Roenicke and Esmil Rogers pitched scoreless innings in the sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, and Edgmer Escalona induced three ground-ball outs in the ninth but yielded a run when pinch-hitter Mike Baxter dropped a shallow double to right and later scored on a wild pitch.
In their final at-bats, the Rockies made a convincing stand against Mets closer Frank Francisco. Dexter Fowler hit a two-out solo shot into the Rockies bullpen in right, and pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin followed with a triple past diving Denver native Kirk Nieuwenhuis in center field. Jason Giambi came to the plate to hit for Scutaro as the potential tying run and sent a ball on a similar path as Colvin's, but it was soft enough for Nieuwenhuis to catch it and end the game.
"[Leads] are never safe here," Collins said. "I've played way too many games here to know if they hit last, they're dangerous. Until they change that, they're never out of a game here."
The rock-'em-sock-'em series wraps up with Sunday's rubber match as Jamie Moyer takes on Johan Santana.
"We got to come back tomorrow and have a chance to win the series," Cuddyer said. "Hopefully we can get the final punch."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.