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Rapid Reaction: Padres 7, Mets 3

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets had a chance to climb into first place Wednesday … until Bartolo Colon took the mound.

Colon was awful, allowing six runs in just 2⅓ innings in a 7-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. It was the shortest outing by a Mets starting pitcher this season.

(On the bright side, in the middle of the game reports surfaced that the Mets are acquiring Carlos Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers.)

Lucas Duda homered three times in a losing effort. With the loss, the Mets are now 52-49 and two games behind the first-place Washington Nationals in the NL East. The Padres improved to 48-53.

Damage report: Colon had given up his first run just three batters into the game. Will Venable led off the first inning with a bunt single, went to third base on Yangervis Solarte's single and scored on Matt Kemp's single. Then Justin Upton drove home Solarte with a sacrifice fly.

The Padres scored two more runs in the second inning. Austin Hedges hit a one-out single, was bunted over to second base and scored on a Venable single. Then Venable scored on a Solarte single.

To open the third inning, Upton and Yonder Alonso took Colon deep. After the back-to-back homers, you knew he wasn't long for this game. Two more Padres singles and Mets manager Terry Collins had seen enough -- he yanked Colon in favor of Alex Torres, who managed to escape further damage in the frame.

Torres pitched 2⅔ scoreless innings, but Bobby Parnell gave up another run in the sixth. Sean Gilmartin provided two more scoreless innings, and Hansel Robles handled the ninth.

Offensively: Duda accounted for all three Mets runs with homers Nos. 16, No. 17 and No. 18 on the season -- solo shots off Padres starter Tyson Ross in the second inning, Kevin Quackenbush in the sixth and Marcos Mateo in the ninth.

Duda became the second player in franchise history to homer three times in a home game. The other? Kirk Nieuwenhuis … on July 12.

The last player to have three homers in a major league game in which his team scored only three runs also was a Met. It was Ike Davis on July 28, 2012 in a 6-3 loss to Arizona.

The second-inning blast ended Ross' 100-inning homerless streak -- the longest by a big-league pitcher in a single season since the Mets' Sid Fernandez went 111 innings without giving up a homer in 1992.

The Mets had just two other hits in the game.

Bizarre situation: Wilmer Flores continued to play despite widespread reports he was being traded to the Brewers. Flores received an ovation during his apparent final at-bat as a Met. He finally was pinch-hit for in his final at-bat in the ninth inning.

What's next: The series finale, and it's a very quick turnaround. It'll be Jonathon Niese (5-9, 3.75) pitching for the Mets, opposed by Andrew Cashner (4-10, 3.93), with first pitch scheduled for 12:10 p.m. ET on Thursday.