SAN DIEGO (AP) - Padres starter Tyson Ross held his own against the Mets' Zack Wheeler.
Ross allowed in a run in seven sharp innings, but Marlon Byrd hit a two-run double over a hesitant Chris Denorfia's head in the eighth Thursday night to help New York beat San Diego 4-1.
``He's throwing the ball great,' Padres manager Bud Black said. ``I think he's really taken a lot of the instruction that he and Darren (Balsley, pitching coach) are talking about as far as being able to locate the fastball, getting the slider in the strike zone and incorporating some changeups.
Ross yielded five hits. He struck out eight without walking a batter and threw a career-high 109 pitches.
l feel like I'm just trying to build off previous starts and make an adjustment in between.' said Ross, who has a 2.08 ERA in eight starts this season. ``Working in the bullpen with Balsley has really helped me out. I'm just trying to improve on what I did the previous outing and just try and do better.'
Wheeler, the Mets top pitching prospect, went six innings, allowing one run on seven hits. He walked one and threw a career-best 115 pitches.
``Whenever I needed to I made the pitches that I had to,' said Wheeler. ``I was able to throw off-speed pitches over for strikes and it worked out well for me.'
Mets outfielders saved two runs with outstanding plays and New York snapped a three-game skid.
Mets left-fielder Eric Young Jr. saved a homer by leaping above the wall and knocking the ball back onto the field in the third inning. Center fielder Juan Lagares then threw out a runner at home plate in the fifth.
Byrd doubled off reliever Luke Gregerson (5-7), who had intentionally walked the left-handed hitting Daniel Murphy to pitch to the righty Byrd. Gregerson hit pinch-hitter Mike Baxter with a pitch. Baxter stole second before Murphy was walked.
Denorfia made his first step in on Byrd's hard-hit ball. He then hesitated and never recovered as the ball sailed over his head.
Scott Atchison (3-1) got the victory by pitching a scoreless seventh inning.
John Buck added his 15th home run, a solo shot off Padres reliever Tim Stauffer in the ninth. It was his first homer in 96 at_bats.
Rookie Gonzalez Germen pitched two scoreless innings for his first career save. He struck out three of the Mets' 15 Ks Thursday.
The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Murphy singled to left leading off. He went to second on a hit-and-run groundout by Ike Davis. With two outs Josh Satin hit a slow roller that shortstop Ronny Cedeno barehanded and threw to first. The throw appeared to be in time, but first base umpire Brian Knight ruled that first baseman Yonder Alonso had pulled his foot off the bag.
Murphy never stopped running as Alonso thought that he had made the last out and headed for the dugout while Murphy came all the way around to score.
The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. They loaded the bases on singles by Chase Headley and Denorfia sandwiched around a walk to Alonso. With one out Jeff Decker hit a sacrifice fly to left scoring Headley.
In the third, Rene Rivera hit a ball that was out of park in left field but Young leaped at the wall and the ball his glove and the top of the wall before landing on the outfield turf. Rivera raced in for a triple.
Wheeler then struck out Ross and Will Venable to strand Rivera at third.
In the bottom of the fifth with runners on first and second and two outs, Alonso hit a line drive to center field. Lagares fielded the ball and threw one hopper that catcher Buck grabbed and just tagged a sliding Ross for the final out of the inning.
Lagares also made a diving catch on Jedd Gyorko's liner in the eighth with a runner on.
NOTES: Venable extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 with a single in the fifth. ... Padres OF Carlos Quentin, out since July 31, got a second opinion on his right knee Thursday at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles. Results of the tests were unavailable. ... Padres C Nick Hundley, who went on paternity leave on Thursday, became a father for the first time when his wife Amy gave birth to a girl earlier in the day. ... The Padres called up Chris Robinson from Triple-A Tucson to take Hundley's place on the roster. ... Padres RHP Jason Marquis was moved from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list on. Marquis underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on July 30. ... The Mets and Padres continue their four-game series Friday with New York's RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-3, 2.22 ERA) scheduled to pitch against the Padres RHP Edison Volquez (8-10, 5.80).
The Associated Press News Service
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