The New York Mets think they have the ace of their rotation in Matt Harvey, and if his first start of the season was any indication, they may be right.
The 24-year-old right-hander dominated with 10 strikeouts over seven shutout innings, and the Mets smacked the Padres, 8-4, on Wednesday at Citi Field.
Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and John Buck each hit two-run homers to back up Harvey (1-0), who began his first full season by allowing just one hit and two walks. After crushing the Padres, 11-2, on Opening Day, the Mets will look to sweep the season-opening series on Thursday.
San Diego starter Clayton Richard (0-1), last season's National League leader in home runs allowed, gave up all three of New York's homers. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs -- seven earned -- on seven hits.
Carlos Quentin and Nick Hundley each contributed an RBI for the Padres.
Harvey got going early, fanning five of the first nine Padres and was perfect through three innings. Everth Cabrera had the Padres first hit in the fourth, but was later picked off and Harvey forced an inning ending double-play soon after to escape his only jam of the evening.
"He's got a presence on the mound that not everyone has," said Davis. "I'll tell you what, I wouldn't like to hit against the guy."
The Mets jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on the bat of Duda, who crushed Richard's fastball down the middle into the 10th row of the right field upper deck.
In his next at-bat, Duda raked another shot into right, this one for a double. Buck followed, and his opposite field liner just cleared the right-field fence to give the Mets a four-run cushion by the end of the fourth.
New York then broke it open in the fifth by plating four more, with Davis' deep two-run blast highlighting the inning and Buck delivering the final score with an RBI single.
David Wright got it started, though, when he ripped an RBI double down the left field line to score Daniel Murphy from first. Richard was yanked after walking Marlon Byrd and the Mets had a commanding 8-0 lead going into sixth.
Harvey capped his performance with four strikeouts over his last two innings to reach double-digits, and Bobby Parnell came on to record the last out after LaTroy Hawkins surrendered three runs -- one earned -- in the ninth.
"Its a good one," said Padres manager Bud Black on Harvey's fastball. "It stays through the strike zone with velocity, its got good carry to it. The ones at the top of the zone we just couldn't get to."
The Padres had just three hits through the first eight innings, with Cameron Maybin plating their first run with an RBI groundout.
New York was 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position ... Harvey also added a single in his first at-bat of the season ... Hundley and Cabrera each had two hits for the Padres, who were 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.