NEW YORK (AP) - Clayton Richard refused to blame the chilly conditions on his subpar performance. Poor command was the problem.
Richard gave up three two-run homers, and the San Diego Padres mustered only one hit against young Mets power pitcher Matt Harvey in seven innings of an 8-4 loss Wednesday night.
Pitching in a whipping wind, the left-handed Richard gave up two-run homers to lefty swinging Lucas Duda and Ike Davis, and another to John Buck. Not the way he wanted to start the season after allowing an NL-high 31 longballs last season.
``There wasn't much that was working,' Richard said. ``Really, I didn't have good stuff and then when you don't have good stuff and are not able to command down, it's going to be trouble.'
Harvey, however, was in complete control for seven scoreless innings. He struck out 10 for his first win at Citi Field.
``He pitched an absolutely - under the circumstances - an unbelievable game,' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ``The fact that he commanded his stuff as well as he did was impressive.'
David Wright added an RBI double and Duda doubled, reached base three times and scored twice in a game that began with a wind chill of 32 degrees. It was the Mets' second straight romp over San Diego. They opened the season with an 11-2 win Monday.
``We need to get a win, no doubt about it,' Padres manager Bud Black said. ``Stultzie has had a good couple of starts at the end of spring and he's capable of pitching a great game.'
Eric Stults faces the Mets' Dillon Gee in the series finale.
Making his 11th career start - fifth at home - the 24-year-old Harvey warmed up quickly in the frosty conditions in front of a crowd of 22,239. The Mets' 2010 No. 1 draft pick (seventh overall) didn't allow a baserunner until Everth Cabrera singled to center field leading off the fourth and faced 22 batters, one over the minimum.
The cool kid from New London, Conn., also singled in the second - and did not ask for a jacket on the base paths. In fact, with the 22 mph wind ruffling his jersey, he was wearing an undershirt with sleeves that ended just below his elbows.
``I like to play baseball and in my mind a jacket doesn't belong on the baseball field,' Harvey said.
Harvey (1-0) picked Cabrera off first base when the speedy shortstop tried taking an extra stride in his lead while Will Venable was batting. Venable walked but Carlos Quentin hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
Harvey walked Quentin with two outs in the seventh as paper wrappers swirled around the field.
Duda hit a laser line drive into the second deck in right field in the second after Marlon Byrd singled off Richard (0-1). Duda doubled in the fourth ahead of Buck's homer.
With the flags atop the stadium stiffly pointing toward right, Buck lofted an opposite-field fly ball that landed in the netting just beyond the right field fence to make it 4-0.
Buck also had an RBI single three batters after Davis crushed a ball just short of the bridge beyond the bullpens in right-center. Davis was 0 for 7 before the homer.
``That's a little bit unusual for Clay. He's been pretty solid against the left-handed hitters in his career,' Padres manager Bud Black said. ``He just got the ball up, he really did.'
The Padres were given a scare in the fifth when first baseman Yonder Alosno had to reach into the basepath to catch third baseman Jedd Gyorko's wild throw. Alonso caught the ball but Colin Cowgill ran into his glove, knocking the ball free. Alonso appeared to be in great pain but remained in the game after being checked out.
``When it happened, I felt the pressure right away. It was kind of scary, because I know a lot of first baseman that have had that play and you wonder, `Is it my wrist, my elbow or my shoulder?' You start going down the line and then I figured it was my elbow, and it got tight on me,' Alonso said. ``But I'm good.'
Richard was lifted after walking Byrd in the fifth and allowed seven hits and eight runs - seven earned - in 4 1-3 innings.
Cameron Maybin had an RBI groundout in the eighth off Greg Burke to end the shutout. Nick Hundley had an RBI double in a three-run ninth.
NOTES: Mets RHP Shaun Marcum will have his neck and shoulder examined by team doctors in New York on Thursday. Aaron Laffey likely will start in Marcum's place Sunday. ... Padres prospect Casey Kelly, a key piece in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston in December 2010, had Tommy John surgery Tuesday on his right elbow. Black said the operation went as planned and that Kelly will begin to follow the protocol for rehabilitation that generally takes about a year. ... The Padres said Monday's home opener against the Dodgers was sold out except for some single seats.
The Associated Press News Service
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