SAN DIEGO -- Jacob deGrom continues to roll and the Mets got their road trip back on the winning track, disposing of the Padres, 5-1, on Friday night.deGrom (3-0) kept his record spotless by keeping San Diego in check for 7 1/3 innings. He was threatened just once in scattering
SAN DIEGO -- Jacob deGrom continues to roll and the Mets got their road trip back on the winning track, disposing of the Padres, 5-1, on Friday night.
deGrom (3-0) kept his record spotless by keeping San Diego in check for 7 1/3 innings. He was threatened just once in scattering five hits and three walks. He struck out eight as the Mets, after losing two straight in St. Louis, won for the fifth time in their last 12 games.
"He's got great stuff and he's really using the information and mixing pitches,'' Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "He is exposing some of the hitters' weaknesses sometimes instead of just throwing the ball out over the plate.''
Three relievers finished off the Padres, with Matt Harvey working the ninth inning in his second uneven appearance out of the bullpen this year. He surrendered a home run to Franchy Cordero and walked Jose Pirela before Freddy Galvis grounded into a game-ending double play.
"It's a learning process and I'm just trying to do everything I can,'' Harvey said.
Clayton Richard (1-3) pitched well, exiting after 6 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs, six hits and three walks. He struck out four.
Asdrubal Cabrera delivered the big blow when he demolished Craig Stammen's hanging, 82-mph curveball for a three-run homer in the seventh. Stammen's first pitch in relief landed a projected 394 feet away, according to Statcast™, deep in the right-field bleachers. Juan Lagares and Jose Lobaton singled before Cabrera's fifth homer on the year.
"He's been terrific and that was a huge home run tonight,'' Callaway said.
The Mets tacked on another run in the eighth when Lobaton's double off Kazuhisa Makita chased in Lagares.
New York scored in the first on Todd Frazier's RBI single after Cabrera opened the game with a double.
deGrom went to 3-1 lifetime against the Padres and worked at least 5 2/3 innings for the ninth straight start, the longest active streak in the National League. In throwing a season-high 110 pitches, he tossed seven or more shutout innings in his second straight start.
"Everything is just coming out easier and the offspeed has more downward movement instead of going across the zone,'' deGrom said.
With the Padres trying to execute their launch angle, deGrom had an answer. He kept working at the top of the zone with his fastball, and it paid off.
"Everybody is trying to lift the ball and the one up there is a little bit harder to lift,'' deGrom said. "Pitching up in the zone has definitely helped me.''
Callaway saw the same thing.
"He's got some good life to his fastball and he has great extension, so it plays even harder than it already is,'' Callaway said. "He does a great job elevating against guys and it is a great weapon for him.''
The Mets' defense backed deGrom with some nifty glove work. Michael Conforto had a nice diving catch in right field in the sixth, which was followed by a long running snag of a popup in foul ground by third baseman Frazier. Conforto also had a nice leaping grab at the right-field wall in the eighth.
"That definitely helps you,'' deGrom said. "Thanks to those guys."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
deGrom denies Padres: The Padres had two runners on for the first time when Jose Pirela walked to lead off the fifth and Galvis followed with a one-out single. But deGrom struck out Austin Hedges on a check-swing high fastball and Richard fanned as well to keep the Padres scoreless.
Cabrera rocked his fifth home run of the season, which ties him with Yoenis Cespedes for the team lead. Four of Cabrera's long flies have come on the road.
Southpaw Jason Vargas, who is five weeks removed from an operation to repair a fractured bone in his right hand, will make his Mets debut against the Padres on Saturday, with first pitch set for 8:40 p.m. ET. Vargas is 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA lifetime against the Padres. Vargas went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA last year with the Royals.
Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego.