Marcus Stroman won his second straight decision after four consecutive losses and doubled in a run, leading the New York Mets over the San Diego Padres 6-2 on Sunday for a four-game split.
Stroman (5-4) gave up an unearned run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and four walks, his most since Sept. 12, 2019. He hit an RBI double down the left-field line in the seventh inning, scoring José Peraza from first for a 4-1 lead.
“We used a lot of split-changes today, sliders, sinkers — I kind of threw everything,” Stroman said. “Their lineup is incredible. That is one of the best lineups in baseball, so I think you just have to have a great mix.”
San Diego loaded the bases in the fourth when Webster Rivas hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Brandon Drury, who grabbed the ball while on his knee, tagged third and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.
“That was huge, I thanked him about a million times throughout the game,” Stroman said of Drury. “It is a huge momentum shift right there when I am able to get out of that inning pretty much unscathed.”
Miguel Castro and Trevor May finished a six-hitter. The Mets have won eight of 11 heading into an off day following a flight to Baltimore, where they start a two-game series Tuesday that completes a nine-game trip.
San Diego was held to four runs and 17 hits in the final three games of the series. The Padres lost for the sixth time in their last eight games.
“He didn't have his best command, but he was able to bounce back so I think he set the tone,” Rojas said of Stroman. “This is a good offensive team. To keep them quiet for two straight games that's going to give the (Mets) batters a chance to score enough runs for us to win.
"We took advantage of some pitches left up in the zone. But it is the pitching again that is setting the tone for us."
Eric Hosmer hit an RBI grounder in the sixth after Fernando Tatis Jr. reached third leading off with a comebacker. Stroman, a Gold Glove-winning pitcher, bounced his throw past Pete Alonso for an error that was compounded when the first baseman, while trying to throw, let the ball slip out of his hand and roll wildly down foul territory in front of San Diego's dugout on the first-base side for another error.
Tommy Pham got the Padres' second run-scoring grounder in the ninth.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler was ejected in the first inning by plate umpire Tripp Gibson after leaving to argue a ball four call on Chris Paddack against Dominic Smith, who umps decided held on a check swing. Tingler has been ejected six times, including four this season.
“I was ultimately just super frustrated,” Tingler said. “Right now, offensively we aren't scoring enough runs. Right now, we are in the middle of the pack crossing the dish. We have got to get more balls in the air.”
Paddack (2-5) dropped to 1-4 in his last seven starts, giving up three runs and six hits in six innings.
“I thought it (changeup) was a huge weapon today. Being able to see some of the swings and misses we got with the curveball made the changeup better,” Paddack said. “I'm finally learning how to pitch at the big league level, that's the biggest thing where I've grown from 2019 until now.”
Center fielder Jurickson Profar broke in initially and misplayed Peraza's fly in the third into a ground-rule double, and Billy McKinney followed with an RBI single.
Smith homered in the fourth, and Alonso hit a run-scoring single for a 3-0 lead in the sixth, James McCann's two-run homer off Craig Stamman boosted the lead to 6-1 in the eighth.
The Mets (29-23) end a nine-game road trip with the first of a two-game set against the Baltimore Orioles (21-38). Projected to start Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. matchup, LHPDavid Peterson (1-4, 5.89 ERA) eyes a bounce-back performance after surrendering 16 runs in 20 innings over his past five starts. He faces LHPBruce Zimmerman (3-3, 4.96 ERA).
(photo Getty images)