SAN DIEGO - A day after their defense and weak hitting mucked up a game, the Mets starched up their performance while the Padres misfired in Petco Park.
New York's 6-2 victory on Saturday, which evened the three-game series, came with help from two players who began their careers with San Diego, pitcher Jeremy Hefner and outfielder Mike Baxter
Hefner (2-4) issued no walks, underscoring a six-inning, one-run performance.
On offense, walking was all Baxter did in becoming the first Met since Vince Coleman in 1992 to draw five walks in a game. Baxter's on-base-percentage rose to .425.
Daniel Murphy, the No. 5 hitter, had four hits and a walk.
The Mets drew 10 walks in all, which had to please CEO Sandy Alderson, the spiritual godfather of Moneyball. Alderson, the CEO of the Padres from 2005 to 2008, has a home in San Diego and is attending this series.
Petco Park plays larger than most major league ballparks, and because Saturday's game started in late afternoon, hitters faced an additional challenge: a flicker effect caused by shadows and sunlight.
Fortunately for Mets hitters, Padres starter Edinson Volquez seldom required them to hit the ball.
Volquez gave out four walks in the second inning, and two of those, to No. 8 hitter Josh Tole and leadoff man Ruben Tejada, pushed in runs for a 2-0 lead.
When Jordany Valdespin followed Tejada's walk with a two-run double, Volquez departed having thrown 25 strikes in 54 pitches.
A leadoff single by Mets cleanup man Ike Davis, batting .209 at the time, began the four-run inning.
Hefner was facing the Padres, who drafted and signed him in 2007, for the second time. Pelted by San Diego in May for nine hits and six runs, Hefner rebounded in the rematch.
Mets manager Terry Collins said Johan Santana will come off the disabled list on Aug. 11 to face the Braves. Santana, who went to the DL with a sprained ankle and shoulder fatigue, on Sunday is to make a rehabilitation outing with the Brooklyn Cyclones. ... Slotting Santana for Aug. 11 allowed Collins to have rookie Matt Harvey start on normal rest Aug. 10. Harvey, drafted seventh overall in 2010, will be making his home debut. On Sunday, he'll face the Padres in his third road start since his promotion. ... Collins was interested to read that Mets Triple-A manager Wally Backman was ejected from a recent game. "I'm looking for the tape of it," Collins said. ""It's got to be entertaining." ... Word that Mets reliever Frank Francisco lost 20 pounds prompted this comment from Collins: "He's such a big guy, 20 pounds is breakfast."