Padres' Baek gets best of Mets again; Wright's error crucial in loss

NEW YORK (AP) -- For one night at least, Padres manager Bud Black saw a lot of the traits that made his team successful last year and one major thing he didn't see much of in 2007 -- power.

Jody Gerut hit Pedro Martinez's opening pitch for the first of San Diego's three homers and Mets third baseman David Wright committed a costly error, helping the Padres beat New York 4-2 on Wednesday night.

"We did a lot of that last year, you know, good starting pitching and good relief work," Black said. "You saw that today and it was good to see some power early."

Cha Seung Baek stymied the Mets again, allowing two runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two starts against New York this season.

Brian Giles and Chase Headley also went deep for the last-place Padres, who improved to 5-1 against the Mets this year. San Diego has six homers in the series and 27 in 19 games since the All-Star break.

"Usually you hit them in bunches and tonight we hit some balls pretty hard," Giles said.

Daniel Murphy had three hits for New York in his fourth big league game, including his first career triple. His fifth-inning single drove in Jose Reyes and tied it at 2, but Wright was doubled off first base on Carlos Beltran's flyout to end the inning.

Wright also committed a base running blunder in New York's 6-5 win Tuesday night, and manager Jerry Manuel felt the need to check with the All-Star about his energy level after the loss.

Wright, who has missed just one game this season, insisted he was fine.

"I mean, this time of year everyone's a little tired, but I think I can help this team and that's not a concern," he said.

Martinez (3-3) settled down after allowing first-inning homers to Gerut and Giles, and left with runners at second and third and one out in the seventh. Pedro Feliciano struck out Gerut and walked Edgar Gonzalez before Giles cued a grounder toward third.

"I thought I fouled it off over our dugout," Giles said. "I didn't know the ball was in play until I heard the crowd go, 'Oh.' "

Wright was in front of the spinning bouncer before it skipped by him and into left field for an error. Luis Rodriguez scored easily to give San Diego a 3-2 lead.

"There was too much english," Wright said. "It just went right by me."

Murphy and Wright hit one-out singles in the bottom half to chase Baek (4-5), but Mike Adams retired Carlos Delgado on a flyball and got Beltran to bounce out to end the inning.

New York left at least one runner on in the first eight innings and stranded 10 runners total, dropping to 12-3 in its last 15 games at Shea Stadium.

"They pitched pretty well, especially in situations where they shut us down," Manuel said.

Headley homered off rookie Eddie Kunz in the eighth to give San Diego some breathing room, and Heath Bell blanked his former team in the bottom half. Trevor Hoffman worked a perfect ninth for career save No. 548, and his 24th in 27 opportunities this season.

Gerut connected in the first for his third leadoff homer of the season, and his second drive of the series. He hit a three-run shot in the ninth inning Tuesday night.

Gerut, back in baseball after missing the last two seasons with an injured right knee, is batting .375 (15-for-40) with four homers and eight RBIs in his last 11 games.

"He's been swinging great," Black said. "You can see it in batting practice, how the ball's coming off his bat. You're seeing it in games and he's playing with a lot of confidence right now."

Gonzalez struck out after Gerut went deep but Giles connected on a 2-2 pitch for his sixth of the year and first since June 18 against the New York Yankees.

New York got one back in the bottom half when Murphy tripled into the right-field corner and scored on Wright's bouncer to second. Wright reached on the first of Gonzalez's two errors, stole second with two outs and was stranded there when Baek fanned Beltran.

Baek struck out five and gave up eight hits, improving to 3-0 with a 2.90 ERA in five road starts since he was acquired by San Diego from the Mariners on May 28. He is 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA in six home starts for the Padres in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

Martinez allowed four hits and three runs, two earned, in his longest outing of the season. He has yielded five solo homers in his last two starts.

"I thought overall my outing was positive, even though I got ambushed early in the game," he said.

Game notes
San Diego went 19 games without a stolen base, tying a team record, before Scott Hairston swiped second in the ninth. ... The Mets haven't announced a starter for Saturday night against Florida, and Manuel wouldn't reveal the candidates.