The New York Mets (68-44) look to sweep Piazza and the Padres (58-55) when the teams conclude their three-game series on Thursday night.
Piazza, who spent eight years with the Mets, received a standing ovation before Tuesday’s series opener, then received a rare curtain call for a visitor after he homered in the fourth inning on Wednesday night.
“You don’t see that a lot,” Piazza said. “The last thing I want to do is show up the other team. When they ask you to do it, it’s one of those things.”
He would homer again in the sixth inning—drawing boos this time—but New York won 4-3 to extend its winning streak to four.
“I think after the second one, it wasn’t as warm,” Piazza said. “I felt the energy shift.”
Piazza nearly homered a third time, but his drive in the eighth inning was caught at the warning track by Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran, preserving New York’s ninth win in 12 games.
Jose Reyes had two hits, an RBI, a run and stolen base Wednesday for the Mets.
San Diego has lost five of its last six road games and six of its last nine overall, but still has a one-half game lead in the NL West over Arizona and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had their 11-game winning streak snapped with a 3-1 loss to Colorado on Wednesday.
Chris Young (9-5, 3.78 ERA) puts his perfect road record on the line when he starts for the Padres on Thursday. The 6-foot-10 right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA in 10 starts away from San Diego this season and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of those starts.
Young is 12-2 in his career on the road and has won eight consecutive decisions there dating to June 20, 2005, when he was with Texas.
Young lost his last start on Friday against Washington, allowing seven hits and five runs in five innings.
“I’m just not executing pitches as well as I can,” Young said. “Everyone goes through those stages.”
He lost to the Mets on April 22, allowing six hits and four runs in four innings of an 8-1 defeat.
Orlando Hernandez (7-8, 4.97) will try to win his fourth straight decision when he takes the mound for the Mets on Thursday. Since losing to the New York Yankees on June 30, Hernandez has gone 3-0 with a 3.34 ERA and has allowed less than four runs in each of his last three starts.
The veteran right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA against San Diego in two career starts, both coming this season when he was with the Diamondbacks.
Piazza has one single and six strikeouts in 13 regular-season at-bats against Hernandez.