Padres rally late, hold off Mets in 9th for 6-5 win
NEW YORK (AP) — Hunter Renfroe put the Padres ahead, then Brad Hand held on at the end. And when it was finally over, San Diego had one of its most exhilarating wins during a difficult season.
Renfroe snapped an eighth-inning tie with a titanic home run , Hand pitched out of a huge jam in the ninth and the young Padres took advantage of a floundering New York Mets bullpen in rallying for a 6-5 victory Wednesday night.
“I think it’s an awesome team win, obviously,” Renfroe said. “A good turning point.”
New York loaded the bases with nobody out against Hand on two singles and a walk. But the left-hander struck out Curtis Granderson and Rene Rivera on breaking balls before Juan Lagares flied out to end it.
An excited Hand pounded his glove after securing his third major league save and first this season.
“Just had to really bear down,” he said. “I’m pretty even-keeled out there, so I don’t really get nervous or anything. Just focused on what I had to do.”
After trailing by four, the Padres pulled even when slumping Wil Myers rocketed a two-run single off the top of the right-center fence in the seventh. His drive came on the second and final pitch from reliever Neil Ramirez, who entered after Fernando Salas loaded the bases on a single and two walks — all with two outs.
“You’ve got to make decisions with what you have,” Mets manager Terry Collins said . “You take the best you’ve got at those times.”
Yangervis Solarte had an RBI single and a two-run double for the Padres (17-31), who won for the second time in eight games.
Ryan Buchter (3-2) worked a hitless inning for the win.
“It’s necessary to come fight back sometimes,” manager Andy Green said . “Our guys fight. They do. They’re relentless.”
Mets rookie Robert Gsellman tossed six solid innings in his return to the rotation. He was pulled for a pinch hitter with a 5-3 lead after throwing 84 pitches.
The scuffling right-hander had his turn skipped last weekend and had come out of the bullpen in his past two appearances.
“This kid has really been struggling. At times, you want him to leave with a good feeling,” Collins said. “We just said, ‘Hey look, he did exactly what we were hoping he’d do.’”
Leading off the eighth, Renfroe sent a soaring drive deep into the second deck in left field for his ninth home run. He connected on a 3-1 fastball from Josh Smoker (0-2), who was recalled from the minors Tuesday.
Wilmer Flores hit a three-run double in the third for the Mets, and Granderson followed with an RBI single. Michael Conforto added an RBI single in the fourth to make it 5-1.
“It was a fun win,” Renfroe said. “Very exciting. Actually got the blood pumping a little bit.”
Padres: Rookie CF Manuel Margot exited in the third with tightness in his lower right leg. He was replaced by Matt Szczur, who reached base three times and scored two runs. ... C Austin Hedges was rested in favor of backup Luis Torrens, who doubled, singled and scored twice from the No. 8 spot in the lineup. Hedges fouled out as a pinch hitter to end the eighth and remained in the game behind the plate.
Mets: SS Asdrubal Cabrera (sprained left thumb) began his rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton and finished 2 for 5 while playing a total of 10 innings in a doubleheader at Richmond. ... RF Jay Bruce sat out after leaving Tuesday’s game with tightness in his back. Bruce said he fully expects to play Thursday night. ... New York reinstated catcher Travis d’Arnaud from the disabled list and placed LHP Tommy Milone on the 10-day DL with a sprained left knee.
Both d’Arnaud brothers got a chance to pinch hit. Travis d’Arnaud flied out in the sixth, but Chase d’Arnaud sparked San Diego’s seventh-inning rally with a two-out single and a stolen base. It was his first hit for the Padres after they claimed him off waivers Sunday from Boston.
SIGH OF RELIEF
After hitting his go-ahead homer, Renfroe gave the Mets a great chance to come back when he dropped Lagares’ leadoff line drive in the bottom of the eighth for a two-base error. Struggling reliever Brandon Maurer, who leads the team with five saves but has blown two of his last three opportunities, retired the next three batters to keep Lagares from advancing. “The ball obviously got in the lights a little bit on me,” Renfroe said. “I was just glad it hit my glove, honestly.”
San Diego starter Jarred Cosart allowed four runs, four hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings. He has gone 20 appearances since his last major league win, for Miami in September 2015.
The rebuilding Padres plan to call up RHP Dinelson Lamet to start the series finale Thursday in place of injured Jered Weaver. It will mark the major league debut for Lamet, who is 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A El Paso. Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.56) pitches for the Mets. He threw seven innings last Friday in a 3-0 win over the Angels and has a 1.97 ERA in 42 career starts at Citi Field.
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