By SCOTT ORGERA Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) _ San Diego rookie Ryan Schimpf homered twice and drove in six runs as the Padres beat the reeling New York Mets 8-6 on Friday night.
Jabari Blash and Christian Bethancourt also homered early for the Padres, who handed the Mets their fourth straight defeat and sixth in seven games. The defending NL champions (57-58) fell below .500 for the first time since April 17.
One day after getting swept at home by last-place Arizona, the Mets again failed to look like legitimate wild-card contenders. San Diego, which has alternated wins and losses since July 26, jumped out to a 5-0 lead six batters into the game _ including a grand slam by Schimpf.
Beneath a dark sky with lightning flashing, the Padres’ lineup provided some quick thunder against New York starter Logan Verrett (3-8).
Travis Jankowski opened the game with a single, and Wil Myers and Yangervis Solarte walked to load the bases.
After a popout to left field, Schimpf sent a 1-0 fastball just over the center-field wall for his first career slam.
As Mets fans began to chant “Rainout! Rainout!” hoping for a reprieve, fellow rookie Blash hit an opposite-field home run into the visitors’ bullpen to make it 5-0.
The threatening clouds passed, and inclement weather couldn’t save New York.
Travis d’Arnaud, who had three hits, got the Mets on the board in the second, lining a two-run homer to left off Padres starter Paul Clemens.
San Diego answered immediately in the third. Schimpf sent a two-run shot into the right-field upper deck, his 12th home run in 47 games. Two batters later, Bethancourt chased Verrett with a solo home run, putting the Padres up 8-2.
The four homers allowed by Verrett, who gave up eight runs in 2 2/3 innings, were the most by a Mets starter since Bartolo Colon also served up four in April 2014.
Clemens (2-2) pitched five innings of three-run ball, and Brandon Maurer worked a flawless ninth for his fifth save.
Jay Bruce had an RBI single in the fifth, and New York rallied in the sixth against San Diego’s bullpen. After d’Arnaud led off with a single, Alejandro De Aza was hit in the neck by Buddy Baumann’s 87 mph fastball. De Aza was OK, and Matt Reynolds followed with an RBI double. Ty Kelly had a run-scoring single to make it 8-5.
After left-hander Brad Hand struck out Curtis Granderson, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Reynolds.
A trio of Mets relievers combined for 6 1/3 perfect innings with eight strikeouts.
Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (right shoulder, right ankle) will throw a bullpen Friday or Saturday. He is inching closer to pitching live batting practice. … CF Jon Jay (right forearm) will return to San Diego on Sunday and have tests done on Monday. Manager Andy Green hopes that Jay will then be cleared to begin swinging a bat.
Mets: INF Jose Reyes (oblique) continued his rehab assignment with Class A Brooklyn, going 2 for 5 with a double an RBI and two runs while playing seven innings at third base.
Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 5.79 ERA) makes his third start for San Diego since being acquired from Miami. He has allowed five runs on 11 hits and six walks in 8 1/3 innings with the Padres.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-5, 2.35) goes for his fourth straight quality start. He is 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA since the All-Star break.
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