San Diego Padres' ace Jake Peavy wasn't quite himself Thursday night, but his offense picked him up with a five-run third inning and held on for a 6-5 win over the New York Mets and a series win at the Mets' new ballpark, Citi Field.
Peavy ran into some trouble in the home half of the first inning. Carlos Delgado launched a 3-0 pitch to right-center field for a three-run home run, giving the Mets an early 3-0 lead. A lead that, against a team like the Padres, would normally stand up for nine innings, but this Padres team has learned the meaning of "don't quit" lately.
On Monday night, after a big four-run inning including a game-tying three-run home run by David Wright, the Padres would push across a go-ahead run after a costly error by the Mets' outfield.
Last night, the Padres battled back after Delgado's first-inning home run as they put up a five-run third inning against Mets' starter John Maine, a rally that was started by none other than Peavy himself.
Maine walked catcher Henry Blanco to start the inning, followed by an Everth Cabrera single to center. Peavy then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Blanco to third and Cabrera to second. Jody Gerut and David Eckstein drove in the first two Padre runs with back-to-back RBI singles, pulling the Padres to within one run.
After Brian Giles grounded out to first, moving Gerut to third and Eckstein to second, Maine intentionally walked first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases. A smart decision by any pitcher, not wanting to face a dangerous bat like Gonzalez with two men in scoring position.
But on this night, it was young left fielder Chase Headley that made Maine pay for that decision, lining a single to right-center and scoring both Gerut and Eckstein to put the Padres ahead 4-3.
Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff would follow suit with an RBI single of his own, scoring Adrian Gonzalez, pushing the Padres even further ahead 5-3.
Peavy held the Mets at bay and benefited from one more insurance run in the fifth inning, a run that would ultimately prove valuable. With two outs and Adrian Gonzalez already on first after being walked for the second time in the game, Headley would be the damaging bat again, smacking an RBI double to right, scoring Gonzalez from first and giving the Padres a 6-3 lead.
Padres reliever Duaner Sanchez allowed his first runs of the season, both of them coming in the home half of the eighth inning when he gave up a two-run home run to Mets catcher Ramon Castro.
But Heath Bell wouldn't allow them to get any closer. The Padres' closer worked a perfect 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out Delgado to end the ball game giving the Padres a 6-5 win and giving Bell his fifth save in as many chances.
The surprising Padres have won six of their last seven games and will take that momentum down to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies for a three-game series starting Friday night.
The Phillies come into Friday night's game after a less-than-routine week. They had an off day on Tuesday, were rained out on Wednesday, and then learned of the death of longtime announcer Harry Kalas, a death that has been blamed on heart disease. It's not a week this team wants to relive and hopes to start anew against San Diego.
The Phillies will have Cole Hamels (0-1, 17.18 ERA) on the mound Friday night against the Padres' No. 2 man, 6'10" right-hander Chris Young (2-0, 1.38 ERA).
Hamels really struggled in his first start of the season against the Colorado Rockies, going 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs on eleven hits.
Young, on the other hand, has been downright dominant for the Padres. The big right-hander gave up two runs on five hits through six innings in a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. His second start was that much better, giving up just one run (unearned) over seven innings in a 6-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.
Padres notes: Padres right-hander Walter Silva will miss his next start with a strained right forearm. The 32-year-old rookie was injured while batting in the second inning of the Padres’ 6-5 victory over the Mets on Monday. Padres' manager Bud Black said the club is still trying to figure out who will start in his place on Sunday against the Phillies.