KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kodai Senga’s biggest adversary Wednesday night wasn’t so much the Royals’ lineup as it was a wet mound.

Rain left the dirt around the pitching rubber just damp enough to affect the Mets right-hander’s footing and cause caking in his spikes.

By the time Senga seemed to have managed the situation, he had buried the Mets in a three-run hole from which they never recovered in a 4-0 loss at Kauffman Stadium.

Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte will perhaps return to the lineup within a few days to give it more of a major league feel, but until then manager Buck Showalter’s patchwork unit will be needed following recent trades.

On Wednesday, Jonathan Arauz started at second base in his season debut, joining center fielder Rafael Ortega and left fielder Danny Mendick in forming the bottom third of the order.


Kodai Senga reacts dejectedly after giving up a two-run double to Michael Massey in the first inning of the Mets' 4-0 loss to the Royals.
Kodai Senga reacts dejectedly after giving up a two-run double to Michael Massey in the first inning of the Mets’ 4-0 loss to the Royals.
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The loss was the Mets’ second straight and moved them seven games below .500 hours after team owner Steve Cohen appeared in the clubhouse and later said he received assurances his players would continue to play hard despite the roster overhaul at the trade deadline.

Senga allowed only the three runs over 5 ²/₃ innings, but he surrendered 11 hits and two walks in his roughest outing since mid-June. Reliever Phil Bickford, in his Mets debut, allowed a solo homer in the eighth to Drew Waters.

The Mets loaded the bases in the ninth with two outs on walks to DJ Stewart and Ortega and Daniel Vogelbach’s pinch-hit single, but Jeff McNeil, the potential tying run, grounded out to end the game.


Michael Massey belts a two-run double in the first-inning of the Mets' loss.
Michael Massey belts a two-run double in the first-inning of the Mets’ loss.
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Michael Massey’s two-run double in the first inning gave the Royals a 2-0 lead after Senga had surrendered consecutive singles to Maikel Garcia and Bobby Witt Jr. to begin the game. Senga threw a wild pitch in the inning, allowing MJ Melendez to reach second after he had grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Senga’s deficit grew to 3-0 in the second inning on Witt’s RBI single on the Royals’ third hit of the inning. But Senga, who threw another wild pitch in the inning, escaped by retiring the next three batters, two of them on strikeouts.


Salvador Perez dives into second base safely for a double as Mets second baseman Jonathan Arauz awaits the throw.
Salvador Perez dives into second base safely for a double as Mets second baseman Jonathan Arauz awaits the throw.
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The Mets left two runners on base in the first inning against lefty Cole Ragans for the beginning of a frustrating night.

In the third, Mendick and McNeil singled in succession to begin the inning, but Ragans recorded three straight outs.

In the fifth, Mendick and McNeil again delivered consecutive singles, but Francisco Alvarez and Francisco Lindor were retired in order.

Mark Vientos doubled in the sixth and was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on Arauz’s single, ending the inning.