NEW YORK (AP)—Whether it was the lack of a killer instinct or the absence of a closeout mentality, there had been a void in the New York Mets’ season of mediocrity that rubbed manager Willie Randolph the wrong way.
Seven times over the first 94 games the Mets had a chance to finish off a sweep. Only twice had they done it, a failure rate that left Randolph wondering whether his team was actually “feeling sorry” for its opponents.
The only ones doubting themselves Thursday were the San Diego Padres.
David Wright singled and doubled during a seven-run sixth inning, and the New York Mets roughed up All-Star Jake Peavy in a 12-0 victory Thursday that completed a three-game sweep of the NL West-leading Padres.
“What I liked about today, more than anything, was that we finished a team off,” Randolph said. “We came out today understanding that we needed to win.”
The victory moved New York (49-46) three games over .500 for the first time since June 8, and its lopsided nature—especially against a quality opponent— left the Mets feeling a little extra good about themselves.
New York moved past Philadelphia into third place in the NL East, inching a bit closer to the two teams at the top of the division—Washington and Atlanta — while improving to 5-2 on a 10-game homestand that concludes this weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“We’ve got to make a statement in the division, and we’re in a position where we can’t wait any longer,” Randolph said. “We can still made some serious hay in the division.”
“Four (consecutive wins) is nice, but we’ve got to be able to do better than that,” Randolph said.
San Diego lost its fourth in a row, one shy of its longest skid of the season.
“That’s as cold as we’ve been with the bats this year,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “An ugly series, it started out bad and got worse today. We know it was ugly, and we got embarrassed.”
Wright became the first member of the Mets to have two hits in an inning this season, and Kazuhisa Ishii (3-8) won at home for the first time since the Mets acquired him from Los Angeles during spring training.
Jose Reyes had three singles, scored twice, drove in two runs and stole his 31st base, tying Atlanta’s Rafael Furcal for the league lead. Doug Mientkiewicz homered and drove in two runs and Ramon Castro hit a two-run homer for the Mets.
The Mets’ seven hits and seven runs in the sixth inning both tied season highs. The combined shutout by four pitchers was their fifth of the season— the first since May 27 against Florida.
Castro’s homer with one out in the fifth inning made it 3-0 and began an offensive flurry.
Peavy (8-4) got out of the fifth by retiring Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd, but the Mets finished him off in the sixth before turning it into a blowout against reliever Paul Quantrill while sending 11 batters to the plate in the inning.
“I made some terrible pitch selections, especially in that inning when it started to come apart,” Peavy said. “Once the hits started coming, they just kept coming.”
Ishii shook off some early control problems and pitched well from the set position, allowing four hits and five walks in six innings for just his second victory in his last eight starts. Dae-Sung Koo, Heath Bell and Danny Graves finished up the shutout, holding San Diego to two hits over the final three innings.
“It wouldn’t have made any difference which park we played in,” Bochy said. “We could have played in Williamsport today and still made it look ugly.”
Peavy entered the game with a 3-0 record in five career starts against the Mets, having allowed only eight earned runs in 33 innings. New York scored seven earned runs against him Thursday. … Padres OF Brian Giles walked twice, raising his major league-leading total to 77. He reached base safely for the 19th consecutive game. … The teams meet again for the final time this season Aug. 9-11 in San Diego.