Granderson, Bullpen Help Mets Get Past Padres 3-1
NEW YORK (AP) — Curtis Granderson hit his first leadoff homer in five years, Carlos Torres and two other relievers filled in admirably for an ailing Daisuke Matsuzaka and the New York Mets beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 Sunday.
Bobby Abreu added an RBI double in the first and Daniel Murphy had a sacrifice fly in the second against a shaky Ian Kennedy (5-8), helping New York take the rubber game in a series between the two worst hitting teams in the majors.
On a day Mets manager Terry Collins said he needed seven innings from Matsuzaka to help cover for a depleted bullpen, the right-hander barely made it through an inning because of a severe upset stomach.
Making his fourth start of the season, Matsuzaka was visited on the mound by Collins, a trainer and a translator after a two-out walk to Seth Smith. The 34-year-old Japanese pitcher took several deep breaths before remaining in the game.
He got the next batter, Chase Headley, on a groundout to end the inning. Matsuzaka gingerly walked off the mound after one inning, shook hands with Collins and headed straight for the clubhouse.
Torres (3-4) relieved Matsuzaka to start the second, and the late-inning reliever looked unsettled. He gave up three straight singles, including Rene Rivera’s RBI infield hit. But he didn’t give up another hit in four innings, tossing a season-high 63 pitches.
Vic Black pitched two scoreless innings and Jenrry Mejia made his first appearance since leaving Thursday night’s game with a stiff back, working two hitless innings for his seventh save.
While the Mets used five extra-base hits – two doubles by Lucas Duda – in improving to 5-9 for June, San Diego fell to 3-10 for the month.
Batting .216 as a team coming in, the Padres made several mental mistakes on the basepaths. Manager Bud Black had several words for pinch-hitter Alexi Amarista when he returned to the dugout in the seventh inning after failing to run out a grounder that Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores bobbled.
Atop the order for the first time this season, Granderson sent a 1-0 pitch from Kennedy halfway up the porch in right field for his first leadoff homer since 2009 with Detroit and 25th overall.
Murphy then doubled to left field, David Wright walked and Abreu doubled in a run. But the Mets failed to add on against a shaky Kennedy, stranding runners on second and third.
Wright had an opportunity to give the Mets some cushion in the sixth, but he popped out to right field with the bases loaded. The Mets are now 11 for 68 (.162) with the bases jammed.
NOTES: Kennedy gave up seven hits and three runs in 5 1-3 innings. … The Padres placed RHP Nick Vincent on the 15-day DL, retroactive to June 12, because of right shoulder fatigue. They selected the contract of RHP Blaine Boyer from Triple-A El Paso to fill Vincent’s spot. … Mets minor league RHP Rafael Montero left his start for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday night in the first inning because of a left oblique strain. The Mets completed the trade that sent Ike Davis to Pittsburgh on April 18. They received 19-year-old LHP Blake Taylor, the Pirates’ second-round selection (51st overall) in 2013. … The Mets next face the Cardinals in St. Louis and San Diego heads to Seattle for Monday games.
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