The New York Mets hope to end their season-long 11-game road trip on a high note when they close out a three-game series against the San Diego Padres today at Petco Park.
The Mets have split the first two installments of this set and recorded a 6-2 win last night thanks to a strong start from Jeremy Hefner. Hefner held the Padres to a run in six innings and Frank Francisco later nailed down his 19th save for New York, which is 6-4 so far on the trek.
"He changes speeds, uses his changeup, has a nice little slider," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Hefner. "He doesn't try to overthrow and for the most part he's in the strike zone. He makes you swing the bat and doesn't beat himself by walking guys.
Mike Baxter set a franchise record by drawing five walks in a nine-inning game. Vince Coleman also walked five times on Aug. 10, 1992 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but needed 16 innings to do it.
Daniel Murphy went 4-for-4 with two runs scored, while Jordany Valdespin highlighted a four-run second inning with a two-run double. David Wright ended 0-for-3 for a second straight game and still needs one more home run to reach 200 in his career. He will join Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220) in that category. Wright also is three RBI shy of 800.
Ruben Tejada had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, but Andres Torres finished 0-for-4 to have his 13-game road hitting streak halted. The Mets are 7-15 since the All-Star break and will head home tonight to start a six-game stay versus Miami and Atlanta.
Rookie Mike Harvey gets the call for the Mets Sunday and is 1-1 with a 1.59 earned run average in two starts -- both on the road. He was saddled with a loss in a 4-1 setback at San Francisco on Tuesday, allowing three runs -- two earned -- in six innings.
Harvey, a right-hander, will face San Diego for the first time. He won his debut on July 26 at Arizona with 5 1/3 scoreless innings and has fanned 18 batters so far in his brief career.
San Diego has lost six of eight games and hopes to earn a series win Sunday.
In Saturday's loss to the Mets, Edinson Volquez lasted only 1 2/3 innings because of control issues and yielded four runs. He also walked four batters and struck out three for the Padres.
"His mechanics were out of whack," San Diego manager Bud Black said of taking Volquez out early. "It was to the point where I thought it might not get better as the game moved forward."
Chase Headley homered, Alexi Amarista added three hits and an RBI and Everth Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a run scored in defeat. The Padres will also host the Chicago Cubs on their homestand.
Taking the mound for San Diego Sunday will be Jason Marquis, who is 4-6 in 11 starts with a 4.08 ERA since coming over from Minnesota. Marquis had a personal three-game winning streak come to an end in Tuesday's 7-6 loss at Cincinnati, as he was reached for seven runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Marquis, a right-hander, owns a 6-7 mark with a 4.58 ERA in 25 career games, 18 of which have been starts, against the Mets.
New York won three of the four matchups with San Diego back in late May.