Gonzalez leads Mets’ hit parade in 14-2 drubbing of Padres
SAN DIEGO (AP) —
Adrian Gonzalez had a spectacular homecoming at Petco Park.
Facing the hometown team he once played for, Gonzalez homered, doubled and drove in five runs on Sunday to help the New York Mets overwhelm the San Diego Padres 14-2.
“It’s always good to be here, be in front of family and friends and loved ones, and overall just try to do what you can to help the team win,” Gonzalez said.
He had plenty of help. Zack Wheeler struck out nine in five innings. The 14 runs and 19 hits were season highs for the Mets, who took two of three in San Diego. The Mets batted around in both the seventh and eighth innings, scoring five runs each time.
Gonzalez hit a three-run homer to left off Jordan Lyles with one out in the seventh, his third. He hit a two-run double off starter Bryan Mitchell in the third. He singled in the ninth, leaving him a triple shy of the cycle. Eight other Mets players had two hits apiece.
The 35-year-old Gonzalez played for the Padres from 2006 until being traded to Boston on Dec. 6, 2010. He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 25, 2012, and then sent to Atlanta last Dec. 16. He was released by the Braves after just two days and signed with the Mets a month later. He was the first pick overall in the 2000 draft, going from Eastlake High in Chula Vista to the Marlins.
With the Padres starting left-handers the first two games of this series, Gonzalez didn’t play Friday night and pinch-hit Saturday night, when he was loudly booed.
Any boos by Padres fans Sunday were drowned out by cheers from Mets fans.
“I went into the game just trying to feel how my timing was and looking for good pitches to hit,” he said. “Got behind on the second at-bat but I think he made a mistake, left the ball middle-away.” That was his two-run double.
Gonzalez hit a fly ball to deep right-center with two on and two outs in the fifth, but right fielder Franchy Cordero raced over and made a running catch at the wall in right-center.
Manager Mickey Callaway said while results haven’t been there, Gonzalez has been taking good swings.
“In the long run, things always even themselves out. I think that’s one of those games that’s going to start to even things out for the way he’s performing,” Callaway said.
Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer in the eighth, his fourth, and Jose Reyes hit an impressive solo shot, his first.
Batting around in consecutive innings “was pretty fun,” Callaway said.
Wheeler (2-1) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings and walked two. The righty helped the Mets bounce back from a 12-2 loss Saturday night by keeping young Padres sluggers Franchy Cordero and Christian Villanueva in the yard. Cordero hit a three-run, 453-foot home run on Saturday and Villanueva hit a two-run shot.
Bryan Mitchell (0-3) failed again to get his first win with the Padres. He was obtained along with Chase Headley from the New York Yankees in an offseason trade that is becoming increasingly unpopular with San Diego fans. The Padres liked Mitchell so much that they were willing to take on Headley’s $13 million contract. But both players have underperformed.
Mitchell allowed four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings, struck out five and walked four.
“Honestly, today’s the best I’ve felt,” said Mitchell, who has a 16.50 ERA in the first inning this season and a 6.07 ERA overall. “I felt like it was the best repertoire I’ve had. ... I’ve just got to limit those walks.”
Mitchell has walked 23 in 29 2/3 innings and struck out only 14.
“It’s a performance game,” manager Andy Green said. “We acquired him because we believed in his potential. It’s about time we see him starting doing that. I think he knows that.”
Freddy Galvis hit a two-run single off Wheeler in the third. In the first, Galvis came up with the bases loaded and two outs and struck out.