NEW YORK (AP) - As Jesus Guzman's drive headed to the left-field wall, it appeared the San Diego Padres were on their way to a comfortable first-inning lead.
Then Mike Baxter made a leaping catch and turned it into an inning-ending double play that held San Diego to a measly sacrifice fly.
``When the ball was hit, it looked like it might be a home run or at least off the wall,' Padres manager Bud Black said.
San Diego never recovered.
Dillon Gee relaxed and struck out a career-high nine to lead the New York Mets over the Padres 6-1 Friday night.
A night after setting a season high for runs and hits (18) in an 11-5 win, San Diego reverted to the inert offense that has 151 runs through 47 games, the second-lowest total in the major leagues ahead of only Pittsburgh.
``Hopefully tomorrow will be more like yesterday and less like tonight,' Chase Headley said.
Anthony Bass (2-5) allowed six runs - matching his season high - eight hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings.
``Honestly, it's the best I felt all year,' he said. ``Every mistake I made they hit.'
Bass was given a lead when Will Venable walked leading off and Yonder Alonso popped a single to left that put runners at the corners.
Baxter got a good read on Guzman's drive and made what he considered his best catch ever. Baxter then made a precise throw to shortstop Ronny Cedeno, who doubled up Alonso returning to first. Venable scored on the sacrifice fly.
``I think Yonder was being aggressive,' Black said. ``He overextended himself and couldn't get back.'
Gee (4-3) allowed just the one run and four hits in seven innings, combining with Tim Byrdak and Ramon Ramirez on a four-hitter.
Following Sunday's 6-5 win at Toronto, Gee has wins in consecutive outings for the first time since he reeled off five in a row from May 13 to June 10 last year.
``That's what I want to be, is a consistent guy that you know what you're going to get every night out. Lately I haven't been that guy, and it really gets under my skin,' Gee said. ``I just feel my mechanics have been all out of whack. My right foot didn't know what my left foot was doing, and I just felt lost.'
Lucas Duda hit a tying home run in the second, a solo drive off the front of the second deck in right. Consecutive doubles by Gee and Baxter put the Mets ahead in the third, just the second extra-base hit for Gee in 70 career at_bats. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with an RBI single for a 3-1 lead.
``That's another thing that was getting under my skin. I didn't have a hit yet this year,' said Gee, who had been 0 for 11. ``I came in the dugout and I was just gasping for air.'
Baxter was filled with praise for the Padres and their organization, and he was happy to see some of his former teammates.
``He's a solid, fundamentally sound player. I think our minor league people taught him well,' Black said. ``He's a bright kid, our minor league guys really liked him. The cool thing is when a guy comes back and plays in his hometown.'
New York, which has split the first half of the four-game series, broke it open in the fifth when Daniel Murphy hit an RBI double and slumping Ike Davis hit a two-run single.
``When he needed to escape, he couldn't,' Black said of Bass. ``He was great in the first inning. Later on, he left a couple of balls over the plate, and they capitalized on them.'
NOTES: Van Smith, a scout for the Padres since 1991, died Thursday at the age of 67. ... Carlos Quentin, still recovering from right knee surgery in spring training, was supposed to made a rehab appearance for Class A Lake Elsinore. He also played for the Storm on May 9 and 10. ... Black said that a ball Venable fouled off his foot hit him in the exact same spot he was hit earlier this week. ``He's s fine,' Black said.
The Associated Press News Service
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