Byrd, Mets foil Padres' late-inning strategy

Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Marlon Byrd wasn't surprised San Diego Padres manager Bud Black ordered his team to intentionally walk Daniel Murphy to face him.
"I understand Bud's thinking on that," said the right-handed-hitting Byrd, regarding why Black choose right-hander Luke Gregerson to face him instead of the left-handed-hitting Murphy. "He probably looked at my numbers against Luke, and they're not that good. He played the matchup. The lefty-righty thing.
"Luke's been great all year, and he's been great however many years he's been here. It was the right matchup. I just came through."
Byrd's two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning snapped a tie and lifted the New York Mets to a 4-1 victory over the Padres at Petco Park on Thursday night.
The win allowed the Mets (55-64) to snap a three-game losing streak. The Padres (54-67) suffered their fifth setback in seven games.
The score was tied at 1 entering the eighth inning. Byrd, who went 2-for-4 Thursday and came a within a triple of hitting for the cycle against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, lined Gregerson's pitch over the head of right fielder Chris Denorfia, scoring Mike Baxter and Murphy.
Gregerson (5-7) was tagged with the loss.
Mets reliever Scott Atchison (3-1) retired the side in the seventh for the victory. Gonzalez Germen struck out three in two scoreless innings to earn his first save.
Both clubs got quality outings from their starters, neither of whom factored into the decision.
Mets rookie Zack Wheeler recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts in six innings, allowing a run on seven hits and one walk. He threw 115 pitches (73 pitches). Wheeler lowered his road ERA to 2.11 through seven starts.
"I made pitches when I had to. That was the biggest thing," said Wheeler, who joined Pedro Martinez and Nolan Ryan as the only Mets pitchers to strike out 12 or more batters in six innings or less. "My slider was working tonight. I was able to throw my off-speed pitches over for strikes. It worked out well for me."
Black said Wheeler, "Good young arm, good delivery. The ball came out with great velocity. Kid's got a good arm. I was impressed by his stuff, his delivery, the way he went through that game."
San Diego right-hander Tyson Ross gave up a run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and didn't issue a walk while throwing 109 pitches (74 strikes).
John Buck added a solo home run off San Diego reliever Tim Stauffer in the ninth and ended a 25-game skid without a home run. It also was his first extra-base hit in 15 games.
The Mets took a 1-0 lead with two outs in the fourth when Josh Satin beat out an infield single, allowing Murphy, who led off with a single, to score from second.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Padres tied the score at 1 on Jaff Decker's sacrifice fly.
Wheeler retired the first seven batters he faced -- five of them on strikeouts, including the side in the second inning -- before giving up a one-out triple to Rene Rivera off the wall in left-center in the third. Left fielder Eric Young Jr. prevented it from being a home run by getting a glove on the ball, knocking it down as Rivera rumbled around the bases for his first major league three-bagger.
However, Wheeler didn't allow Rivera to get any further, striking out Ross looking and getting Will Venable swinging to end the inning.
NOTES: Venable extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games with a single to left in the fifth inning. ... San Diego LF Carlos Quentin, on the disabled list since Aug. 10, got a second opinion on his strained right knee Thursday at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. Results were unavailable. ... Padres C Nick Hundley became a father for the first time when his wife gave birth to a girl Thursday. The Padres promoted C Chris Robinson from Triple-A Tucson to replace Hundley, who went on the paternity list. ... Padres RHP Jason Marquis, who had season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow July 30, was moved from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster for Robinson. ... The game drew an announced crowd of 21,400.

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