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Mets 11, Padres 2

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Collin Cowgill capped an impressive Opening Day for New York Mets newcomers with a seventh-inning grand slam as they cruised to an 11-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Monday.

Pitcher Jonathon Niese threw 6 2/3 strong innings and aided his own cause with a perfect day at the plate in front of a sellout crowd of 41,053 at Citi Field.

Niese allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four in his first Opening Day start. He accounted for as many runs as he gave up by going 2-for-2 at the plate with an RBI single, a run scored and a walk.

The Mets scored two runs apiece in the second and third innings and three more times in the fourth, when they chased Padres starter Edinson Volquez before he could record an out.

Cowgill's grand slam, which just cleared the left field fence, turned the rout into a laugher. It was the second Opening Day grand slam in team history. Todd Hundley hit a grand slam against the Rockies in the 1995 opener.

Cowgill, whom the Mets acquired from the Oakland Athletics last December, finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

Marlon Byrd, whom the Mets signed to a minor league deal in February, had a pair of RBI singles.

John Buck, who was part of the package the Mets got from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for R.A. Dickey, had two singles, an RBI and a run scored.

David Wright, the Mets' longest-tenured player, got in on the fun as well. Wright had a run scored, an RBI and two stolen bases in his first game since signing an eight-year, $138 million contract in December and being named the fourth captain in team history on March 21.

Brandon Lyon, Scott Atchison and Scott Rice, all making their debuts for the Mets, finished up for Niese by throwing 2 1/3 hitless innings.

Carlos Quentin had an RBI single in the third for the Padres while Yonder Alonso homered in the sixth.

Volquez was charged with six runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four. Reliever Brad Brach, the third of the Padres' five pitchers, allowed all four runs in the seventh.

Notes: The Mets improved to 34-18 on Opening Day while the Padres fell to 20-25. The Mets have the best Opening Day record in history and have won 34 of their last 44 season openers. ... Wright became the third Mets player to swipe at least two bases on Opening Day. Mookie Wilson had two steals against the Cardinals on Apr. 9, 1985, while Darryl Strawberry had two steals against the Cardinals on Apr. 3, 1989. ... Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko became the 28th rookie in team history to start on Opening Day and went 1-for-4 with a double. Gyorko was drafted by the Padres in the second round of the 2010 draft and hit .319 in 334 minor league games. ... Volquez started his third straight Opening Day and his second in a row for the Padres. He is the first San Diego pitcher to start on Opening Day in consecutive seasons since Jake Peavy made four straight Opening Day starts from 2006-2009. ... Shawn Marcum, whom the Mets placed on the disabled list Monday retroactive to March 22 with a sore neck, is scheduled to pitch a simulated game in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday. As long as he has no setbacks, he could start for the Mets against the Marlins on Sunday. ... Padres third baseman Chase Headley, who suffered a broken left thumb on March 17, fielded soft ground balls before the game Monday. Headley hopes to return to the Padres by early May.
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