Rapid Reaction: Padres 7, Mets 3

SAN DIEGO -- The launch of the six-man rotation began with a thud for the New York Mets.

Dillon Gee's franchise-record streak of 51 straight starts completing at least five innings ended when the right-hander allowed 7 runs (4 earned) and was knocked out without recording an out in the fifth inning on Wednesday night at Petco Park.

The New York Mets ultimately lost to the San Diego Padres, 7-3, in the rubber game of the series.

The Mets (29-25) have lost nine of their past 10 road games. They again dropped a half-game behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the National League East.

In his return from the disabled list, which expanded the rotation to six members, Gee was charged with 8 hits and a walk. Three errors -- two by third baseman Ruben Tejada, and one on Gee's wild throw to the plate after he fielded a comebacker -- contributed to the damage.

The seven runs surrendered by Gee fell one short of matching his career high. He allowed 8 runs in 3 2/3 innings on Aug. 22, 2011 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Gee had his shortest start since May 14, 2013 -- also four innings, against the St. Louis Cardinals. His 51-start stretch of completing at least five innings per outing began five days later.

With Gee's streak now snapped, James Shields takes over with the longest streak in the majors of starts of at least five innings. Shields' 50th straight such start came on Wednesday night as he improved to 7-0 as a Padre.

Shields retired 13 straight Mets at one point. He took a scoreless effort into the sixth, when Tejada eventually broke up the shutout bid with an RBI double. Daniel Murphy ended a mini-rally that inning when he grounded into a double play.

An inning later, Anthony Recker contributed an RBI single. However, Eric Campbell grounded into an inning-ending double play with two on base. Campbell is now 0-for-his-last-24.

The Mets did bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Lucas Duda grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game.

What's next: The Mets take a short flight to Phoenix for a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Matt Harvey (5-3, 3.11 ERA) opposes right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (3-3, 5.08) in the 9:40 p.m. ET opener on Thursday.

The D-backs traded right fielder Mark Trumbo to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday in a six-player swap that returned catcher Welington Castillo.