Mets' Oswalt tops hometown Padres 6-4 for 1st big league win
NEW YORK (AP) — Corey Oswalt made it worthwhile for all the friends and family members back home in the unusual position of rooting against the San Diego Padres in an early morning baseball game.
Oswalt beat his hometown Padres for his first major league win, pitching three-hit ball over five innings as the New York Mets defeated San Diego 6-4 Wednesday for their first series victory in two months.
Oswalt (1-2) made his fifth big league start and sixth appearance by pitching in a game that began at 9:46 a.m. PDT. He allowed two runs and two walks while striking out four, exiting after 62 pitches due to a sore right hand sustained when he was jammed during a third-inning at-bat.
"It was special, especially against them — I grew up a Padres fan," Oswalt said with a grin. "Everybody back home was watching."
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said he likely would have pinch hit for Oswalt during a four-run fifth inning even if the 24-year-old right-hander hadn't been nursing the sore hand. Oswalt issued both walks and plunked a batter during his final two innings.
"He just couldn't grip the ball," Callaway said. "And then obviously the pinch-hit coming up, that would have been a decision that we had to make too."
Callaway said he expected Oswalt to be fine in a few days. Oswalt is not guaranteed another start in place of Noah Syndergaard (hand, foot and mouth disease), who is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, the next time the Mets need a fifth starter.
"I think it just kind of affected my overall command," Oswalt said. "I just tried to battle through it and keep us in the game."
New York announced before the game that slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will have operations to remove calcifications in both of his heels, surgeries that are expected to have a recovery time of at least 8-to-10 months.
Since sweeping three games against Arizona from May 18-20, the Mets had lost 12 series and split five. The 17 straight series without a win was one short of the team record set in 1982.
"I think that's a stepping stone to where we want to get," Callaway said. "We've got to go out there and win series. That's our goal, has been all season. It hasn't happened, obviously, very much lately or at all lately, until today."
San Diego has lost or split its last 11 series. The Mets and Padres have the two worst records in the National League.
Padres left-hander Clayton Richard (7-10) retired his first 12 batters on 36 pitches and carried a 2-0 lead into the fifth. Freddy Galvis grounded into a run-scoring double play in the first and Austin Hedges homered in the fifth.
Jose Bautista walked leading off the fifth to end the perfect game bid and scored on the Mets' first hit, a one-out single by Kevin Plawecki. Phillip Evans, pinch hitting for Oswalt, hit a tying single, and Amed Rosario followed with a two-run single.
"Obviously, he was as good as you could possibly be through four innings," Padres manager Andy Green said of Richard. "Once he got in the stretch, he had a bit more trouble being precise with his command."
Bautista chased Richard with a two-run homer in the sixth. Richard allowed six runs, five hits and two walks in five-plus innings.
Bautista's 339th homer tied him for 99th place with Tino Martinez, Dave Parker and Boog Powell.
Galvis hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Tim Peterson before Robert Gsellman stranded a pair of runners by getting the final two outs of the inning. Anthony Swarzak got six outs for his second save of the season and the fourth of his career.
Mets centerfielder Brandon Nimmo initially robbed Hedges of his homer in the fifth, but the ball bounced off an M&M ad on the back wall beyond the fence and into Nimmo's glove. After a video review, Hedges was given a homer. Richard followed with his second walk of the season and was forced at second when Travis Jankowski's flare dropped in short right, where Bautista threw to second for the forceout. Jankowski was then picked off by catcher Devin Mesoraco, and first baseman Wilmer Flores who threw to Rosario as Jankowski was caught stealing at second, a call upheld on another video review.
Padres: RHP Jordan Lyles (forearm) allowed seven runs in three innings Tuesday night for Triple-A El Paso and has an ERA of 17.47 in two minor league injury rehabilitation starts.
Mets: Cespedes has played just 119 games since the start of last season due to hamstring, hip and heel injuries.
Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (1-6, 8.99 ERA) is scheduled to open a three-game series Friday at home against Arizona.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (4-8, 3.65 ERA) is slated to start Thursday's opener of a four-game series at Pittsburgh.