SAN DIEGO -- Daniel Murphy had four hits and knocked in three runs and starting pitcher Jacob deGrom didn't allow a baserunner until the sixth inning on Monday as the Mets coasted to a 7-0 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.
deGrom (6-4) retired the first 15 batters he faced before Clint Barmes punched a single into the hole between first and second base to start the sixth inning. deGrom allowed two hits in eight innings with no walks and eight strikeouts.
"He's one of the best young pitchers in our league," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Last year, what he did, Rookie of the Year, he's pitching with a lot of confidence. Tonight, he was rolling. He was on."
The Mets (29-23) moved back into first place in the National League East, tied with the Nationals, who were rained out. They scored two runs off Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner (2-8) in the first inning, as Murphy had an RBI single and later scored on an error by third baseman Will Middlebrooks. He would later add a two-run home run as part of a four-run fifth inning.
Cashner allowed five earned runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings with no walks and a career-high 12 strikeouts for the Padres (25-28).
"When you're ... striking out that many guys, you're stuff's electric," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I'm sure if you ask him, he probably missed some balls out over the plate that we managed to hit. Dan had a big night, a huge night."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Not perfect, but deGrominant: The Mets probably knew deGrom was in top form when he struck out the first four batters he faced. They definitely knew when he took a perfect game into the sixth inning. deGrom made it through the eighth on 105 pitches. Thanks to a double play, he faced only one batter over the minimum.
"The command tonight, just mixing, changing speeds -- really good," Collins said. More >
Whole lotta K's: Cashner's big night went for naught as he was upstaged by deGrom -- though he did establish a career high with 12 strikeouts, finishing off Wilmer Flores in the fifth inning. His previous high in strikeouts was 11. It came last April 14 against the Tigers.
"That's what you've got to do, you've got to pick each other up," Collins said. "Without Lucas going into tonight, we needed somebody else to pick up the load. Tonight, Murph did."
Two hits and that's it: The Barmes single and later a single by Middlebrooks was all that the Padres had in the way of offense against deGrom. This was the third time this season the Padres have been held to two or fewer hits in a game -- on May 4 against the Giants they had two and on May 23 against the Dodgers they had just one. They lost both games.
"I thought I had some of the best stuff I've had this season. Some balls just fell in. I think the main mistake was the home run on a hanging slider" -- Cashner.
"Sixteen strikeouts and one walk. That's a very unique box score" -- Black on the line his pitchers compiled.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Cashner became the first Major League pitcher to finish with 10 or more strikeouts, allow 10 or more hits and not complete five innings in Major League history. He's also only the second to finish with 12 or more strikeouts in fewer than five innings. Alex Cobb of the Rays did it against the Padres in 2013. More >
SLOW YOUR ROLL
San Diego rookie catcher Austin Hedges threw out Murphy trying to steal second base to end the third inning. It was his third catcher caught-stealing of the season. The team's starting catcher, Derek Norris, is tied with Russell Martin of the Jays for the most CCS (16) in the Major Leagues.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets: When rookie Noah Syndergaard (2-2, 1.82) takes the mound for Tuesday's 10:10 p.m. ET game against the Padres, he will look to top the 100-mph fastball and 430-foot homer he put on display in his last start. Syndergaard has seemingly improved in each of his first four big league outings, allowing a combined two earned runs in his last three.
Padres:Ian Kennedy (2-5, 7.15) gets the start in the second game of the series at 7:10 p.m.PT. He has the highest ERA among all big league starting pitchers with at least eight starts and is coming off a start in which he allowed seven earned runs to the Pirates.