Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
NEW YORK (AP) — First with his bat and then with his brain, Devin Mesoraco gave the New York Mets a big lift Tuesday night.
The veteran catcher hit an early three-run double and made a heads-up play on defense that sent Zack Wheeler and the Mets to a 6-3 victory over the San Diego Padres.
Michael Conforto launched a two-run homer, extending his recent tear at the plate, and Wheeler (4-6) pitched seven crisp innings to win his second straight start. Before that, the right-hander went 13 outings without a victory dating to April 29 in San Diego — the longest stretch without a win for a Mets starter in 20 years.
Manuel Margot was initially called out at the plate on Wil Myers' two-run single off Wheeler in the third. Even though that appeared to be the final out of the inning, Mesoraco alertly threw to third base just in case, where Carlos Asuaje was tagged as he eased up, thinking the inning was already over.
"We told everybody in spring training, in these instances now with replay, you have to play every ball out," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said.
When umpires overturned the call at the plate, ruling Margot safe after a replay review that lasted just more than 3 minutes, they also called Asuaje out at third. That preserved a 3-2 lead for the Mets, and Wheeler cruised from there.
"It was just kind of a reaction," Mesoraco said. "I wasn't 100 percent aware of the rule, of how it plays out. I wasn't sure that I got him out (at home). So I mean, it didn't hurt anything to throw down to third and get the tag.
"You just never know, I guess. You can't assume anything," he added. "It was good to be able to get out of it and you know, they were in the middle of their order, so that might have saved us a couple runs."
Padres manager Andy Green said he attempted to protest the game over the call, but it wasn't accepted because the ruling was made at replay headquarters in Manhattan.
"I think they completely misapplied that rule," Green said.
Leadoff hitter Amed Rosario tripled and scored twice for the Mets, who won for only the eighth time in their last 30 home games. Wilmer Flores also scored two runs in a matchup between the bottom two teams in the National League.
Padres left-hander Eric Lauer (5-7) struggled through the early innings once again. He threw 35 pitches in the first, giving up Mesoraco's bases-loaded double with two outs, before serving up Conforto's 13th homer after a leadoff walk in the third.
Asdrubal Cabrera singled home Rosario after he tripled with two outs in the fourth.
Wheeler retired his last 12 batters following Myers' two-run single.
"I felt in a groove right there at the end," he said.
A possible trade candidate with a week to go before the July 31 deadline, Wheeler was aware it could be his last start at Citi Field for the Mets. He allowed two runs and four hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
"Yeah, it crossed my mind. I'm not going to lie," Wheeler said. "But at the same time, you can't really do anything about it. You go out there and pitch, and try to get a win.
"Obviously, they wouldn't want me if I wasn't pitching well," he added. "It's a lot of hard work but it's starting to pay off and hopefully I can keep it going."
Myers added an RBI double off Seth Lugo in the ninth.
San Diego fell to 5-14 in July after losing for the eighth time in 10 games.
BEEN A LONG TIME
Wheeler won consecutive outings for the first time since August 2014, before he missed two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Padres: RHP Jordan Lyles (right elbow inflammation) made a rehab start for Triple-A El Paso and could pitch for San Diego on Sunday at home against Arizona. ... INF Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the highest-rated prospects in baseball, had surgery for a broken left thumb with ligament damage. He is expected to be sidelined at least six to eight weeks, potentially ending his season with Double-A San Antonio.
Mets: LF Yoenis Cespedes was placed on the 10-day disabled list again. The team said it was awaiting a second opinion before deciding whether the oft-injured slugger needs surgery on both feet that could require an eight-to-10-month recovery. ... LHP Jason Vargas (strained right calf) is scheduled to come off the disabled list to start Friday night in Pittsburgh. ... Mesoraco was hit under the chin by a foul ball in the fourth. After being checked, he remained in the game.
Mets rookie RHP Corey Oswalt (0-2, 5.64 ERA), who is from San Diego, makes his fifth major league start when he faces his hometown Padres in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Looking for his first win, Oswalt has allowed a total of three hits over 11 innings in his past two outings. Veteran LHP Clayton Richard (7-9, 4.82) pitches for the Padres.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.