SAN DIEGO — Yoenis Cespedes snapped a month-long home run drought, drove in the go-ahead run and scored what would be the winning run as the Mets beat the Padres 6-5 at Petco Park Tuesday night. Cespedes, who went 3-for-4, fell a singly shy of the cycle.
Cespedes’ performance gave the Mets (47-51) their second straight win and their sixth in their last seven games, but it came at a potential cost when Cespedes left in the middle of the seventh inning with tightness in his right quad.
Cespedes said after the game it was more fatigue than tightness and he isn’t worried about missing any time.
“I felt it after I touched second base,” Cespedes said of scoring on a wild play in the seventh. “I am not too worried that it’s going to be an impediment for playing tomorrow.”
Cespedes lined a checked-swing triple into the corner of right field in the top of the seventh, scoring Curtis Granderson for the go-ahead run. After Padres first baseman Wil Myers’ throw to third sailed wide, Cespedes popped up from his slide and sprinted home. He did not beat left fielder Jose Pirela’s throw, but catcher Hector Sanchez could not hold onto the ball in the collision at the plate.
“I told him. I am not going to take a chance tonight,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “I told him I finally got you hot not going to take a chance and you have to go out and make a tough play (on defense). So we got him out.”
While Cespedes, who appeared after the game with a big wrap on his quad, said he was not worried about this causing him to miss a game, Collins said the Mets would wait and see.
Cespedes hit his first home run since June 23, snapping an 87 at-bat drought with a solo shot off rookie right-hander Kyle Lloyd in the first. He doubled in the fifth to give the Mets a 4-3 lead.
That was the second lead he would hand Seth Lugo on the night.
Lugo had given away a 1-0 lead on two homers in the second: a solo shot to Hunter Renfroe (his third homer in as many at-bats dating back to Monday night) and a two-run shot to Allen Cordoba.
Lugo went six innings even though he wasn’t exactly sharp Tuesday. He allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out one.
The Mets have to hope this is a sign of life from Cespedes, who signed a four-year $110 million deal this winter. So far through 53 games this season, the 31-year old has 10 home runs and 26 RBI.
Clearly they were looking for more from Cespedes, who also missed 37 games on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
Friday night, he created a needless firestorm when he told a San Francisco reporter that he wanted to end his career with the A’s, the team he broke into the majors with after defecting from Cuba. He said that eight months after saying the same thing about the Mets at the press conference announcing his long-term deal. He also made a pointed comment about A’s manager Bob Melvin, which came across as a thinly veiled criticism of his current manager.
Those slights, perceived or real, are more easily overlooked when Cespedes is contributing like he did Tuesday night.
PLAY OF THE GAME
T.J. Rivera isn’t known for his glove, but in the ninth, he got the first out of the inning with a tremendous sliding catch of Manuel Margot’s foul pop-up.
Yoenis Cespedes’ checked-swing line drive, triple up the rightfield line in the seventh scored the Curtis Granderson for the go-ahead run. The left fielder scored when first baseman Wil Myers’ throw to third went into left field. Jose Pirela’s throw home was in time, but catcher Sanchez coughed up the ball on contact with Cespedes at the plate.
STAR OF THE GAME
Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI.
STAT OF THE GAME
Yoenis Cespedes hit his first home run since June 23 at San Francisco. It was his 10th of the season and his 24th RBI in 53 games this season and his first in his last 88 at-bats.
Seth Lugo wasn’t his sharpest, but he gave the Mets six solid innings. He allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out one.
Lucas Duda, who was 12-for-39 since the All-Star break heading into Tuesday night’s game, went 0-for-4.
Wednesday at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.
LHP Steven Matz (2-3, 4.67) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (9-7, 4.26)