Fernando Tatis Jr. broke up a scoreless tie with a two-run homer and later scored on a Taijuan Walker wild pitch to lead the San Diego Padres to a 4-3 victory over the visiting New York Mets in the opener of a four-game series.
The win was the Padres’ 11th straight at home and snapped a season-long, four-game losing streak. The Mets lost for only the second time in eight games.
The anticipated pitching duel between Walker (4-2) and Padres winner Yu Darvish (6-1) didn’t live up to expectations. Mark Melancon worked out of a two-on, none-out jam in the ninth, picking up his major league-leading 18th save when Kevin Pillar grounded into a game-ending double play.
Manny Machado drew a walk from Walker opening the third and scored on Tatis’ 17th homer of the season — a drive to center that bounced out of the glove of leaping Mets center fielder Mason Williams and hit on top of the fence before going over. It was only the second homer allowed by Walker this season.
The Padres widened their lead to 3-0 in the fourth on a one-out walk drawn by Victor Caratini, a double by Darvish and a bloop RBI single to left by Jurickson Profar. Tatis hustled the Padres to a 4-0 lead in the fifth — reaching on an infield single, moving to second on a throwing error by Mets third baseman Brandon Drury, advancing to third on a ground out to the right side and scoring on a Walker pitch to the backstop.
Catcher James McCann followed Francisco Lindor’s one-out single with a two-run homer off Darvish in the sixth to halve the Padres’ lead. The Mets loaded the bases before pinch-hitter Pete Alonso grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Lindor drew a walk from reliever Emilio Pagan to open the eighth and scored on Billy McKinney’s triple — although two defensive plays kept the Mets from tying the game. Third baseman Machado, playing in short right on the shift, ran down the ricochet on McKinney’s triple to prevent an inside-the-park homer. And Tatis, who committed his 15th error earlier in the game, threw out Drury to end the inning.
Darvish, who didn’t allow a hit until two out in the fifth, gave up two runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batter with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings as the Padres won for the 11th time in his 12 starts.
Walker gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and four walks with two strikeouts in five innings.
–Field Level Media