NEW YORK -- Given new life Wednesday, the Padres wasted little time turning what would have been their seventh loss in eight games into a much-needed win.
An inning after the Padres completed a comeback from down four runs, Hunter Renfroe smashed a go-ahead homer into the second deck at Citi Field in the eighth that had a projected distance of 440 feet, according to Statcast™. That vaulted the Padres to a 6-5 win over a Mets club that, for most of the evening, seemed to have victory firmly in its grasp.
"Those are some of the more gratifying wins you can have, during the season, coming from behind like that," said Padres first baseman Wil Myers. "It was a good team win all around. Bullpen was great, defense was great, we had timely hitting -- that's how you come back on a team."
Starting pitcher Robert Gsellman gave the Mets six innings of three-run ball, his first quality start since April 19 -- a stretch that included a 10-day demotion to the bullpen. But despite Gsellman's strong outing, and the lead that Wilmer Flores' three-run double gave the Mets, manager Terry Collins removed his starter for a pinch-hitter after only 84 pitches.
That opened the door for San Diego to tie things off relievers Fernando Salas and Neil Ramirez in the seventh, when Myers hit a two-run single off the right-center-field fence.
"We got to the seventh inning and said, 'Hey, Fernando's the guy to bring in right now to get us to the eighth,'" Collins said. "Two outs and nobody on, and all of a sudden, he lost command and then he got fatigued -- velocity went down, dropped quite a bit, so thought we'd move to a fresh arm. Just didn't get it done."
Ryan Buchter earned the win in relief of Padres starter Jarred Cosart, who gave up four runs -- three of them on Flores' double -- in 2 2/3 innings. The final inning belonged to left-hander Brad Hand, who worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam to record his third career save and first of the season.
"You've got to bear down, try to keep that run from scoring from third," Hand said. "I was trying to get two strikeouts right there. It just worked out."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Curious decision: Rather than stick with Gsellman in the seventh, Collins turned to Salas, a reliever that he recently admitted to overworking the first month of the season. Entering the outing with an 8.31 ERA since April 15, Salas loaded the bases on a two-out single and two walks. Collins next turned to Ramirez, who served up Myers' game-tying single. The ball traveled a projected 385 feet, per Statcast™, landing inches shy of a go-ahead grand slam.
"This kid has really been struggling," Collins said of Gsellman. "At times you want him to leave with a good feeling. He gave us six good innings." More >
Ninth-inning madness: The Padres' experiment with Hand in the ninth inning nearly went awry, when the first three Mets to bat against him loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. But Hand struck out Curtis Granderson and Rene Rivera in succession, then induced a game-ending flyout from Juan Lagares. The Padres see him as a closer candidate going forward.
"No drama at all, just a really easy save for a guy getting his first save of the year," Padres manager Andy Green quipped. "Really simple -- no, he's always been a low-heart-rate guy. [He's] not nervous, not anxious." More >
"I'm not going to lie. I've told him on multiple occasions he's got more power than me. It's hard to admit that, but he's got some crazy power, man." -- Myers, on Renfroe
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
At 385 feet, Myers' game-tying single was the second-longest single by a Padres hitter in the Statcast™ era. Thinking he had gotten enough of the pitch, he trotted home to first in 6.1 seconds. To his credit, Myers, who broke out of an 0-for-16 slump with his 2-for-5 night, acknowledged his mistake after the game.
"I did not get out of the box very well," Myers said. "I've got to do a better job. I've got to be on second base after that. I hit the ball really well and thought it was going to go."
Both the Mets' Travis d'Arnaud and the Padres' Chase d'Arnaud made pinch-hit appearances in the game. It was the first time two brothers pinch-hit in the same game since Melvin Upton Jr. and Justin Upton for the Padres on June 11, 2015. The last time a pair of brothers pinch-hit for opposing teams was on July 20, 2013, when Scott Hairston and Jerry Hairston Jr. did so for the Nationals and Dodgers, respectively.
COSART OK AFTER LINER
In his brief Padres tenure, every time Cosart has seemed to find a groove, he's stumbled upon an injury. On Wednesday, Michael Conforto hit a liner directly off the top of Cosart's left foot in the first inning, resulting in an infield single. Cosart had X-rays after the game, which came back negative.
"It wasn't too bad the first inning," Cosart said. "When I got back out the second inning, it was tighter. It got progressively tighter. I just lost all push off my backside, and everything started to sail on me and I'm sure my velocity started to drop a little bit."
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: Dinelson Lamet, the club's No. 10 prospect, makes his much-anticipated MLB debut Thursday, when the Padres and Mets wrap up their three-game set at 4:10 p.m. PT. The 24-year-old right-hander features an impressive fastball-slider mix but has sometimes struggled with control.
Mets:Jacob deGrom will look to give the Mets at least another seven strong innings when he starts the team's 7:10 p.m. ET series finale at Citi Field. Last time out, deGrom matched his season high with seven innings, giving the bullpen a much-needed rest.