Rapid Reaction: Padres 11, Mets 5

WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets open up their longest homestand of the season (11 games) with a loss to the Padres, the second-worst team in the National League record-wise.

New York falls to 24-21 on the season -- 2-1/2 games behind first-place Washington -- while San Diego improves to 17-29.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The Mets' Jeremy Hefner made the first start of his major league career, and it didn't go very well. To be fair, Hefner had to endure a 68-minute rain delay after pitching two scoreless innings to start the game. But once he got back on the mound, he was shelled by the third-worst hitting team in the major leagues. (The Padres' No. 5 through No. 9 hitters Thursday night were all batting .171 or lower coming into the game.)

All told, Hefner lasted just 3-2/3 innings on the night, giving up six runs on nine hits, with three strikeouts and no walks. We'll have to wait and see whether manager Terry Collins gives him another chance in five days, or looks for another option to plug into the rotation.

THE REST OF THE WAY: Ramon Ramirez, Manny Acosta and Robert Carson handled the final 5-1/3 innings for the Mets. Acosta surrendered three more runs in his two innings of work, his ERA ballooning to 10.97. Carson allowed a run in the eighth, and another one in the ninth.

The Padres entered the game batting .220 as a team, but scored a season-high 11 runs on a season-high 18 hits Thursday night.

BRIGHT SPOTS: Two of the Mets' three runs came on David Wright's fifth home run of the season, a blast to dead-center field in the sixth inning. Wright also had a double in the first inning and a single in the eighth, upping his batting average to a major league-leading .405.

Also, Ike Davis -- who found out yesterday that he's not in danger of being demoted to Triple-A, despite his .159 batting average entering Thursday night's game -- pinch-hit in the eighth inning and laced a two-RBI double to right field.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Mets have three more cracks at the Padres over Memorial Day weekend. On Friday night at 7:10 p.m., Dillon Gee (3-3, 5.44 ERA) will be on the mound for the Mets, opposed by fellow righty Anthony Bass (2-4, 2.89 ERA) for the Padres.