The Padres opened up the post All-Star game portion of the season with a weekend series with the New York Mets. San Diego closed the first half with back-to-back 1-0 shutout losses at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the series opener against the New York Mets, the Padres bats showed some life, and the team received a pair of tremendous outings from starters Tyson Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne to win the series.
Ian Kennedy started Friday night's game and struggled with his control. He was unable to throw strikes consistently, which led to an inefficient and ineffective outing. Kennedy lasted five innings and threw over a hundred pitches. He gave four runs and left the game with the Padres trailing 4-0.
San Diego tied the score in the fifth inning, when they put up a four-spot. Second baseman Chris Nelson, who was brought up from AAA El Paso before the game, came through with an RBI single. Alexi Amarista followed with an RBI single of his own, and Chase Headley capped the scoring with an equalizing two-run single.
The Mets took the lead in the ninth when catcher Travis D'arnaud poked the game-winning RBI through the infield for the game-winning RBI off of Joaquin Benoit. The Padres were turned away in the bottom of the ninth, and lost the opener, 5-4. After the game, the Padres traded closer Huston Street to the Los Angeles Angels for four prospects.
On Saturday night, the Padres handed the ball to All-Star Tyson Ross to help even the series. Ross' slider/sinker combination kept Mets hitters off-balance all night with some of the best
The Padres offense came on the strength of three solo HR's -- one apiece from Yasmani Grandal, Will Venable and Seth Smith. For Smith, it was his team-leading 11th home run of the year. Chase Headley also continued his hot hitting with two hits and an RBI.
On Sunday, San Diego sent Cuban sensation Odrisamer Despaigne to the mound to clinch the series victory. Despaigne almost made history.
Despaigne pitched 7.2 innings without allowing a hit, before David Murphy whacked an opposite-field double into the left center gap. The hit ruined what could have been the Padres first no-hitter in team history. Despaigne baffled Mets hitters all day by constantly changing speeds and his arm angles. Despaigne threw fastballs in the low-90's and breaking balls that danced to the plate at 64 MPH. Despaigne's brilliance was wasted as the Padres allowed a run to score in the eighth and Despaigne left the game with a no-decision.
With the score tied at 1 in the ninth, the Padres started a rally. Pinch-hitter Carlos Quentin led off the inning, and was replaced by pinch-runner Cameron Maybin. Alexi Amarista attempted to sacrifice the runner over, but ended up reaching on an error by Mets pitcher Vic Black. After Chase Headley grounded into a double play, Seth Smith stepped to the plate with a chance to win the game. He responded with a dribble to the pitchers mound that Mets hurler Josh Edgin could not field. The play allowed Maybin to score, and the Padres escaped with a 2-1 win. Yasmani Grandal had the other RBI for the Padres when he homered for the second consecutive game.
The Padres took the series, and will head to Chicago to take on the Chicago Cubs in a three-game series. The Padres will be off on Monday.