SAN DIEGO (AP)—The San Diego Padres had the worst record in baseball two weeks ago. Now, they’re making history.
San Diego became the first team in major league history to win four consecutive games by a 2-1 score, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“We’re an interesting team, at the very least,” Michael Barrett said. “We are on an unbelievable roll.”
The Padres, who held the worst record in the majors (18-33) on May 24, have rebounded and are playing their best baseball of the season.
Hairston connected on a 3-1 fastball from Pedro Feliciano (0-1) into the left-field seats to give San Diego its season-high fourth win. Beginning with their 12-9 victory in 18 innings on May 25 against Cincinnati, the Padres have won nine of 13.
“A good win, needless to say,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “Great pitching, good defense and the timeliness of hitting.”
Before Friday night’s win over the Mets, the Padres had never won more than two straight 2-1 games in their 40-year history. San Diego started its streak with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.
The Mets lost their third straight 2-1 decision for the first time in team history.
“We can’t seem to get a big hit with a man in scoring position,” New York manager Willie Randolph said. “You can’t win games like that. That’s three games in a row. We have to find some consistency in our offense.”
New York dropped the series opener on Thursday when Scott Schoeneweis hit Paul McAnulty with a pitch and the bases loaded in the ninth inning after he walked three batters—one intentionally to load the bases. On Friday night, the Padres made two runs off Mets ace Johan Santana stand up for the win.
“It’s obviously frustrating when you’re playing such good defense and getting such good pitching,” David Wright said. “Everyone seems to be trying to be the hero.”
Hairston wasn’t sure when he first hit the ball if it would carry in the left-center field gap at spacious Petco Park.
“Once I heard the crowd, I knew it was gone,” Hairston said. “It’s a great feeling.”
Since he was acquired in a July 27 trade with Arizona last season, Hairston has hit three game-winning home runs, including two in extra innings.
“We’ve seen that over the course of time he’s been here,” Black said. “He’s got that type of power. It seems to show up a number of times late in the game.”
“They had the big boys up in the lineup,” Adams said. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.”
San Diego has gone 4-4 in extra inning games, including five that lasted 13 or more innings.
The Mets jumped in front 1-0 on a sacrifice fly by Endy Chavez in the second inning.
Barrett tied the game with a leadoff homer in the fifth off Oliver Perez, his first in more than a year. Barrett’s last home run came on June 10, 2007, at Atlanta when he was with the Chicago Cubs, a span of 197 at bats.
New York worked out of two bases loaded jams.
The Padres loaded the bases in the fourth inning on a leadoff walk to Edgar Gonzalez, Brian Giles’ infield single and a two-out walk to Khalil Greene. But Perez got Justin Huber to line out to right field.
In the sixth, Perez hit Giles with a pitch to lead off the inning. Perez then hit Kevin Kouzmanoff one out later. Joe Smith replaced Perez and proceeded to hit Greene to load the bases. Smith retired pinch-hitter Tony Clark on a forceout at the plate and struck out Barrett.
The three hit batters in the inning tied a major league record.
It was the second time in Mets’ history they have hit three batters in an inning. Perez plunked three Florida Marlins last season in a 7-4 loss on Sept. 28 as the Mets dropped out of first place behind Philadelphia. New York finished one game behind the Phillies as they squandered a seven-game lead with 17 games left.
Beltran and Delgado had consecutive singles to lead off the New York second with Beltran going to third. Fernando Tatis then hit a grounder to third base. When Beltran broke for home, Kouzmanoff threw home to Barrett. Beltran was able to get back to third with all the runners being safe.
Beltran then scored on Chavez’s sacrifice fly.
Perez allowed one run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings. The former Padre struck out five, walked two and hit two batters.
Cha Seung Baek gave up one run and seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in six innings.
Mets OF Ryan Church sat out his second straight game and will not play in Sunday’s finale because he says he is “not feeling right.” … New York reinstated Casanova from the bereavement list Friday. The Mets optioned C Robinson Cancel to Triple-A New Orleans.