Padres 4, Mets 0
A day after Wells came within one out of a shutout against the Mets, Lawrence blanked them in pitching the San Diego Padres past New York 4-0 Wednesday night.
Like Wells, Lawrence escaped a first-inning jam. After that, Lawrence made it look easy in throwing a six-hitter for his second straight complete game.
“I’m at the point where I think I have everything going my way,” Lawrence said. “I’m feeling pretty good and my pitches have been sharp.
“The last couple of games, I’ve had a real good sinker. The location was not as good tonight as the last one. But if you keep the ball down, you’re going to get results like that,” he said.
Lawrence (13-10) recorded 15 groundball outs, evidence that his sinker was on target most of the night. He became the first Padres pitcher since Andy Ashby in 1998 to pitch consecutive complete games.
The shutout was the third of his career and his first since July 17, 2002 at Los Angeles.
San Diego nicked Leiter (9-5) for a run in the fifth when ex-Met Jay Payton opened with a walk. After Lawrence popped out trying to sacrifice, Freddy Guzman doubled and Mark Loretta followed with his 13th sacrifice fly of the season.
An inning later, Phil Nevin led off with his 18th home run of the season, hitting a 3-2 pitch from Leiter over the left-field fence.
“Nevin doesn’t only hit me well,” Leiter said. “He hits others well, too.”
Nevin had three hits, including the homer. In the last seven San Diego road games, he is batting .552 (16-for-29) with two home runs, seven runs scored and 13 RBIs.
“He’s our cleanup guy and he’s coming through for us right now,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
In the seventh, the Padres loaded the bases when Lawrence walked and Guzman and Loretta singled. Brian Giles delivered a sacrifice fly and Nevin’s third hit, a two-out single, made it 4-0.
“You walk the pitcher,” Leiter said. “That’s not good.”
That was all Lawrence needed for his career-high 13th victory. He retired 18 of 19 batters after the first inning, a stretch that was interrupted only by Danny Garcia’s third-inning double. He struck out four and walked two.
A baserunning mistake cost the Mets a chance to break the shutout in the ninth. Cliff Floyd led off with a single into the left-center field gap, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double by Guzman.
Both teams loaded the bases in the first inning without scoring.
In the bottom of the first, Eric Valent singled and one out later, David Wright doubled. After Lawrence walked Floyd intentionally, he retired Richard Hidalgo on a pop up and Mike Cameron on a fly ball.
“It was huge,” Bochy said. “We’re in a tight jam there. He made some good pitches there. I thought that was probably the key to game.”
Padres SS Khalil Greene robbed Cameron of a hit with a leaping grab of his line drive in the fourth. … Garcia’s third-inning shot bounced off third base and he hustled it into a double. … Newly signed OF Brian Buchanan reported and to make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated OF Prentice Redman for assignment. … The complete game was the sixth of Lawrence’s career.