By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Rookie reliever Josh Spence walked light-hitting
Ruben Tejada to force home the tiebreaking run and the New York
Mets rallied late for the second consecutive game against San
Diego’s usually dependable bullpen, beating the Padres 5-4 on
Angel Pagan homered to start New York’s comeback and Jason
Isringhausen earned his 299th save. The Mets, who trailed by four
runs in the eighth inning Monday and by two in the eighth on
Tuesday, won both games to move back above .500 (58-57).
Orlando Hudson, starting in the cleanup spot for the first time
in his 10-year career, hit an RBI double for the Padres before
leaving with a strained right groin. He is day to day.
Wade LeBlanc returned from a brief trip to the minors and
pitched six solid innings for San Diego. He was in line for his
first major league victory in almost a year before the depleted
Mets fought back again.
Pagan, the team’s new leadoff man because of an injury to Jose
Reyes, homered for the second consecutive night when he connected
off Chad Qualls (5-6) to start the eighth.
That cut New York’s deficit to 4-3. Justin Turner and David
Wright followed with singles, chasing Qualls, and Lucas Duda
advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt.
Jason Bay was intentionally walked and pinch-hitter Nick Evans
tied it with a sacrifice fly off Spence, who entered with an 0.45
ERA in 23 appearances.
Ronny Paulino walked to load the bases and the 21-year-old
Tejada, filling in at shortstop for Reyes, worked his way back from
a 1-2 count to draw a walk that put New York ahead.
Isringhausen pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save of the
D.J. Carrasco (1-2) entered for an injured Manny Acosta in the
eighth and escaped a jam unscathed.
Jason Bartlett hit an RBI double and Jesus Guzman doubled twice
for the last-place Padres, who arrived in New York with a four-game
Heavy rain all afternoon kept the tarp on the field and canceled
batting practice, but the game started on time and finished without
The score was tied at 2 in the fifth when San Diego mounted a
two-out rally against starter Chris Capuano. Cameron Maybin singled
and scored on Bartlett’s double to deep right. Guzman followed with
an RBI double to make it 4-2.
Capuano gave up two runs in the fourth, but the Mets scored
twice in the bottom half.
Duda singled for the fifth straight plate appearance, including
a two-run hit off All-Star closer Heath Bell that gave New York a
9-8 victory Monday night.
Bay reached on an infield single and Scott Hairston hit an RBI
double high off the 16-foot fence in left-center. Paulino’s
sacrifice fly tied it.
Guzman doubled off the left-field fence to start the fourth,
extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Hudson doubled over
Pagan’s head in center to put San Diego ahead.
One out later, Aaron Cunningham hit an RBI single and Hudson
scored with a nifty, late, feet-first slide across the plate.
Hudson also left his feet to snare Capuano’s line drive in the
bottom of the fourth, saving a run. He appeared to be OK, but
Hudson was lifted for pinch-hitter Alberto Gonzalez in the fifth.
Gonzalez flied out with a runner at second and remained in the
game at second base. He opened the eighth with a soft liner that
deflected off Acosta’s pitching hand for a single, knocking the
right-hander out of the game.
NOTES: Hudson has been on the DL twice this season, because of a
strained left groin and a strained right hamstring. … Padres 3B
James Darnell went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and a double-play
grounder in his major league debut. Darnell was called up from the
minors Monday when 3B Chase Headley went on the DL with a broken
left pinkie. Headley is expected to miss four to six weeks. …
Maybin charged in for a terrific tumbling catch in center to rob
Turner of a hit. … Paulino threw out Maybin trying to steal
second in the seventh. That snapped a streak of 21 successful
stolen base attempts by Maybin, caught for the first time since
April 29. … Mets manager Terry Collins plans to give OF Mike
Baxter his first big league start Wednesday night against RHP Aaron
Harang (10-3). Claimed off waivers from the Padres last month,
Baxter grew up in Queens about 10 minutes from the Mets’ home.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)