AP NEWS

Mets top Padres, 5-1

August 14, 2016

NEW YORK – The crowd of 26,612 rose to its feet, giving Steven Matz a standing ovation as he walked off the field. Matz had narrowly missed history in a dominant performance that deserved the praise. Matz allowed just one hit in 7 1/3 scoreless innings to carry the Mets to a 5-1 victory over the Padres Sunday at Citi Field. The 25-year-old lefty walked two and struck out eight in his 105-pitch outing. Alexei Ramirez ended Matz’s no-hit bid with one in the eighth inning. Ramirez hit a grounder up the first-base line, and it just stayed fair to end Matz’s chance at history. Matz would’ve become just the second Met to throw a no-hitter after Johan Santana threw the franchise’s first in 2012. Solo home runs from Wilmer Flores and Neil Walker gave Matz, who threw a career-high 120 pitches in his previous start, a two-run lead. The Mets won two straight games for the first time since July 6-7. The Padres never had much of a chance against Matz, who has been pitching with a bone spur in his elbow. He maintained his velocity through the late innings, consistently hitting 94 and 95 mph. Matz walked the first batter of the game, Travis Jankowski, who was thrown out trying to steal third base. But Matz was dominant from that point on. He left the Padres flailing at an array of fastballs, curveballs and sliders. San Diego put together some good at-bats. It just couldn’t win any of them. Wil Myers worked the count full with one out in the fourth. He fouled off an 80-mph curveball. Then Matz got him swinging with an 86 mph slider. The next batter, Yangervis Solarte, had a 2-2 count before hitting a liner right back up the middle. Matz stuck his glove out and snared it out of the air to end the inning. Matz walked the leadoff batter, Derek Norris, in the sixth. But then Matz got Adam Rosales to ground into a fielder’s choice, struck out pinch-hitter Christian Bethancourt and induced an inning-ending forceout from Jankowski. This was his game. A no-hitter looked to be developing. But it never came to fruition. Matz struck out the leadoff batter in the eighth. That brought up Ramirez, who hit a 2-1 pitch up the first-base line. The ball just skipped over the base to stay fair, giving the Padres their first hit. Mets manager Terry Collins immediately came out of the dugout. He headed to the mound to take the ball from Matz, who walked off the field to a standing ovation. The Mets scored three more runs after he left the game. Jose Reyes scored on a wild pitch in the eighth, then T.J. Rivera hit a two-run double to put the Mets up 5-0. They were Rivera’s first career RBI. The Padres scored their lone run in the ninth off reliever Gabriel Ynoa. Email: iseman@northjersey.com