NEW YORK – As Jesus Guzman's drive headed to the left-field wall, it appeared the San Diego Padres were on their way to a comfortable first-inning lead.
Then Mike Baxter made a leaping catch and turned it into an inning-ending double play that held San Diego to a measly sacrifice fly.
"When the ball was hit, it looked like it might be a home run or at least off the wall," Padres manager Bud Black said.
San Diego never recovered.
Dillon Gee relaxed and struck out a career-high nine to lead the New York Mets over the Padres 6-1 Friday night.
A night after setting a season high for runs and hits (18) in an 11-5 win, San Diego reverted to the inert offense that has 151 runs through 47 games, the second-lowest total in the major leagues ahead of only Pittsburgh.
"Hopefully tomorrow will be more like yesterday and less like tonight," Chase Headley said.
Anthony Bass (2-5) allowed six runs — matching his season high — eight hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings.
"Honestly, it's the best I felt all year," he said. "Every mistake I made they hit."
Bass was given a lead when Will Venable walked leading off and Yonder Alonso popped a single to left that put runners at the corners.
Baxter got a good read on Guzman's drive and made what he considered his best catch ever. Baxter then made a precise throw to shortstop Ronny Cedeno, who doubled up Alonso returning to first. Venable scored on the sacrifice fly.
"I think Yonder was being aggressive," Black said. "He overextended himself and couldn't get back."
Gee (4-3) allowed just the one run and four hits in seven innings, combining with Tim Byrdak and Ramon Ramirez on a four-hitter.
Following Sunday's 6-5 win at Toronto, Gee has wins in consecutive outings for the first time since he reeled off five in a row from May 13 to June 10 last year.
"That's what I want to be, is a consistent guy that you know what you're going to get every night out. Lately I haven't been that guy, and it really gets under my skin," Gee said. "I just feel my mechanics have been all out of whack. My right foot didn't know what my left foot was doing, and I just felt lost."
Lucas Duda hit a tying home run in the second, a solo drive off the front of the second deck in right. Consecutive doubles by Gee and Baxter put the Mets ahead in the third, just the second extra-base hit for Gee in 70 career at-bats. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with an RBI single for a 3-1 lead.
"That's another thing that was getting under my skin. I didn't have a hit yet this year," said Gee, who had been 0 for 11. "I came in the dugout and I was just gasping for air."
Baxter was filled with praise for the Padres and their organization, and he was happy to see some of his former teammates.
"He's a solid, fundamentally sound player. I think our minor league people taught him well," Black said. "He's a bright kid, our minor league guys really liked him. The cool thing is when a guy comes back and plays in his hometown."
New York, which has split the first half of the four-game series, broke it open in the fifth when Daniel Murphy hit an RBI double and slumping Ike Davis hit a two-run single.
"When he needed to escape, he couldn't," Black said of Bass. "He was great in the first inning. Later on, he left a couple of balls over the plate, and they capitalized on them."
NOTES: Van Smith, a scout for the Padres since 1991, died Thursday at the age of 67. ... Carlos Quentin, still recovering from right knee surgery in spring training, was supposed to made a rehab appearance for Class A Lake Elsinore. He also played for the Storm on May 9 and 10. ... Black said that a ball Venable fouled off his foot hit him in the exact same spot he was hit earlier this week. "He's s fine," Black said.