San Diego, CA – Marlon Byrd's two-run double in the eighth inning lifted the New York Mets to a 4-1 win over the San Diego Padres in the opener of a four-game set at Petco Park.
With two on and two outs, Byrd laced a double over the head of Chris Denorfia in right, allowing Mike Baxter and Daniel Murphy to score.
John Buck added a solo homer in the ninth to account for the final margin.
Josh Satin finished with two hits and an RBI and Murphy added a pair of runs scored for the Mets, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Scott Atchison (3-1) earned the win after tossing a perfect inning in relief and Gonzalez Germen notched his first career save after spinning a pair of scoreless innings.
New York starter Zack Wheeler gave up one run on seven hits while fanning a career-high 12 batters over six solid innings.
"Whenever I needed to, I made the pitches that I had to," said Wheeler. "I was able to throw off-speed pitches over for strikes and it worked out well for me."
Luke Gregerson (5-7) was pegged with the loss after giving up Byrd's double. Starter Tyson Ross did not factor in the decision despite giving up just one run on five hits while striking out eight over seven innings.
"I'm just trying to build of previous starts and continue to improve and win games," Ross said. "I was really happy with the way I threw the ball tonight."
The Padres looked poised to score after Rene Rivera ripped a one-out triple in the third inning. Rivera laced a hanging slider deep to left field, but Eric Young leaped at the wall and got enough glove on the ball to keep it from crossing the fence. The ball bounced on top of the fence and fell back into play.
The play was reviewed and stood as called on the field. Wheeler then fanned the next to hitter to get out of the jam.
The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Murphy singled, moved to second on Ike Davis' groundout, then scored on Satin's infield single. Satin tapped a slow roller to shortstop Ronny Cedeno, who fired a bullet to Yonder Alonso at first. Alonso turned to show umpire Brian Knight that he maintained control of the ball as Cedeno's throw caught Satin by a step, but Knight ruled that Alonso failed to keep his foot on the bag. As Alonso had his back turned, Murphy broke for home and slid across the plate safely.
Replays showed that Alonso remained on the base and Satin was clearly out at first, which would have been the final out of the inning.
After Jaff Decker tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the home half of the fourth, the Padres appeared to be jilted by another poor call in the fifth.
With two on and two outs, Alonso ripped a grounder up the middle. Mets center fielder Juan Lagares fielded the ball and delivered a strike to Buck at the plate. Buck was met by Ross, who slid around the catcher's left leg and appeared to get his foot on the plate just before Buck applied the tag to his shoulder, but home plate umpire Dan Iassogna called Ross out.
Ironically, Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that it plans to expand instant replay beginning in the 2014 season. Managers will have the opportunity to challenge an umpire's call. They will be allowed one challenge over the first six innings and two from the seventh inning until the conclusion of the contest.
Lagares has 10 outfield assists this season ... The Mets were 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position ... Wheeler struck out seven in his debut on June 18 ... San Diego was 2-for-10 with RISP and left eight runners on base ... San Diego center fielder Will Venable extended his hitting streak to a career- best 12 games ... Ross threw a career-high 109 pitches.