Padres take charge early in win over Mets
NEW YORK -- The Padres got to Mets starter Bartolo Colon early, putting up six runs in the first three innings and chasing him after just 2 1/3 innings. That would prove to be more than enough, as Tyson Ross and the San Diego bullpen cruised the rest of the way to a 7-3 win.
The Padres' early runs came in pairs. A Matt Kemp single and Justin Upton's sacrifice fly scored two in the first inning, singles from Will Venable and Yangervis Solarte plated two in the second and home runs from Upton and Yonder Alonso sent home two in the third. Upton added an insurance run with an RBI single in the sixth inning. Lucas Duda was responsible for the Mets' offense with a trio of solo home runs.
"You can't ask those guys -- and we have asked Kemp and Upton -- to provide all the wins for us lately," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said. "It's great to see those guys performing, Alonso and all those guys are coming through. It's a great team win."
Ross picked up his seventh win of the season, allowing one run over five innings, as the Padres evened this three-game midweek series. Colon fell to 9-10, allowing six or more runs in three innings or fewer for the eighth time in his 18-year career.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Upton unloads: The subject of trade rumors at various points in his career, Upton enjoys playing this time of year because on the field he can just focus on baseball. His blast in the third inning cleared the Citi Field Party Deck in left-center. His removal from the game in the bottom of the eighth, when he had three RBIs, sparked initial curiosity, but was merely the result of the score.
"I wanted to rest some legs," Murphy said, "and give you guys something to think about." More >
Duda powers up: After a two-month slump that saw his batting average fall from .305 on May 27 to .236 entering Wednesday's game, Duda has regained his power stroke. He looped a home run to right field in the second inning, added a line-drive homer in the sixth and finished it off with a no-doubt shot in the bottom of the ninth. He's gone deep six times in his last four games as he continues to progress out of that slump.
"I've just been seeing the ball much better than I have in the past," Duda said. "It's just one of those days." More >
Ross rights the ship: The sought-after Ross won for just the second time in six starts in what served as a showcase. The control issues of the past did not elude him, as he walked four, but he wiggled out of jams in the fourth and fifth. Ross was pulled with 83 pitches, as his quad stiffened up after a Kirk Nieuwenhuis comebacker struck him in the leg in the fourth. The injury isn't serious.
"I told [Murphy] I could still go, but we had a well-rested bullpen," Ross said.
Wilmer says goodbye, but stays: The final few innings were emotional for Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores, who wiped back tears with his glove as his time in New York worked toward what seemed at the time to be an apparent end. He and pitcher Zack Wheeler were reportedly traded midgame to Milwaukee in exchange for Carlos Gomez, according to a source, but the trade fell apart. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Duda's first homer, in the second inning, was the first given up by Ross in 100 innings, a stretch spanning 16 starts. Ross had been the first pitcher to have 16 straight homerless starts within the same season since Sid Fernandez did for the Mets from June to September 1992.
Duda became the second Met in the franchise's 53 years to hit three home runs in a home game. The first? Nieuwenhuis, all of 17 days ago.
Padres: Andrew Cashner is scheduled to start as the Padres complete this three-game series in New York with an early start on Thursday, at 9:10 a.m. PT at Citi Field. The subject of an abundance of rumors, Cashner (4-10, 3.93 ERA) expects to be dealt before Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Mets: The Mets will send Jon Niese (5-9, 3.75 ERA) to the mound for the series decider at 12:10 p.m. ET on Thursday. He returned from paternity leave on Tuesday after the birth of his second child.
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