New York snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over San Diego on Saturday as Mike Piazza hit a game-winning two-run home run in the 10th inning.
After a week full of distractions, the homer was just what Piazza needed to get his mind off things.
“With all the situations I’ve gone through in my career, the one constant is it feels good to get on the field,” Piazza said.
Piazza had a benign mole removed from his lower abdomen Monday and was limited to one pinch-hitting appearance during a three-game series against Los Angeles because the skin was too tight for him to put on his equipment.
The Mets also said they’d like to see the All-Star catcher begin to practice at first base because Mo Vaughn is hurt. New York isn’t sure when or if Vaughn will play again.
“I realize there’s a lot of focus on me, sometimes it’s embarrassing,” Piazza said earlier.
San Diego starter Jake Peavy hopes that he can end his recent struggles. Peavy, who won his first three starts, has dropped back-to-back games and fell to 1-3 in his last four outings. He allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings of a 4-2 defeat at Montreal on May 6.
“My last few outings, if you take away one inning from both of them—it’s just tough to swallow but I’ve got a lot of confidence to build on,” Peavy said.
STANDINGS: Padres - 5th place, 13 1/2 GB, NL West. Mets - 5th place, 9 GB, NL East.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Peavy (4-3, 4.46 ERA). The right-hander has one career start against New York. He allowed just two runs and five hits in a 7-2 win at Shea Stadium on Aug. 13. Peavy has struck out 40 batters in 42 1-3 innings this season.
METS PROBABLE STARTER: Pedro Astacio (2-1, 7.31 ERA). The veteran right-hander is coming off a win against the Dodgers on May 6, allowing two runs and four hits over six innings of a 3-2 victory. Astacio has fared well against the Padres in his career, going 9-4 with a 3.46 ERA in 24 appearances, 17 of which were starts.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Padres - Lou Merloni, .350 avg.; Ryan Klesko, 9 HRs and 26 RBIs; Ramon Vazquez, 20 runs and 5 SBs. Mets - Piazza, .287 avg.; Tony Clark, 6 HRs; Cliff Floyd, 16 RBIs; Ty Wigginton, 19 runs; Roberto Alomar, 4 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Even, 1-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Padres - OF Rondell White is hitting .314 (4-for-12) in his career against RHP Astacio. … After allowing only 11 home runs in 17 starts last season, RHP Peavy has allowed seven homers in seven starts this season. … OF Mark Kotsay is hitting .375 (9-for-29) in his career against RHP Astacio. Mets - New York recalled RHP Pat Strange from Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday, giving it 12 pitchers on the staff. Strange was 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA in six games at Norfolk, five of them starts. He had 20 strikeouts in 29 2-3 innings. … New York’s bullpen is 2-9 with 10 saves in 15 opportunities. … INF Joe McEwing tied a career-high with three hits in Saturday’s win.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Padres - 6-14 on the road; Mets - 10-10 at home.
INJURIES: Padres - C Gary Bennett (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Adam Eaton (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Kevin Jarvis (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Kevin Walker (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jay Witasick (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Trevor Hoffman (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Phil Nevin (shoulder), 60-day DL. Mets - 1B Vaughn (knee), 15-day DL; OF Jeromy Burnitz (hand), 15-day DL; RHP David Cone (hip), 15-day DL; LHP John Franco (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Grant Roberts (shoulder), 15-day DL.