SAN DIEGO -- The New York Mets officially have a problem facing left-handed starting pitching.
The Mets had a streak of six straight series victories -- their longest in a decade -- snapped with the loss, although they still can salvage a split by winning the final two games. Since Petco Park opened in 2004, the Padres have a better home-winning percentage against the Mets than any other opponent (28-14, .667). The Mets have won only one of the 13 series played between the teams at the ballpark.
A night after right-hander Colin Rea carried a no-hit bid through 6 2/3 innings, Pomeranz held the Mets hitless until Asdrubal Cabrera’s two-out single in the fourth. The Mets also were held to one hit in eight scoreless innings by Atlanta Braves right-hander Matt Wisler on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in four games against left-handed starting pitchers this season, the Mets have mustered only three runs. All three scored on a pinch-hit homer by Yoenis Cespedes against Cincinnati’s Brandon Finnegan on April 26. Miami’s Adam Conley, San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner, Finnegan and Pomeranz -- the four southpaws to start against the Mets in 2016 -- have combined for a 1.16 ERA (three earned runs in 23 1/3 IP) in those games.
Cabrera’s hit against Pomeranz placed runners on the corners in the fourth, but Wilmer Flores followed with a fielder’s choice groundout to end the threat.
The Mets (17-11) did not muster another hit until Cabrera’s one-out single in the seventh against left-handed reliever Ryan Buchter. However, Cabrera subsequently was thrown out at the plate, aggressively trying to score from first base on Flores’ ensuing double. Rene Rivera then popped out to strand Flores at third base as the Mets remained scoreless.
The Mets do play with an inferior lineup against southpaws, with manager Terry Collins using those limited opportunities to get Juan Lagares and Flores starts. Michael Conforto and Neil Walker, who entered Friday having combined for 31 percent of the Mets’ RBIs this season, sat. (Walker had started every previous game this season, while Conforto is now hitless in his past 14 at-bats after a pinch-hit strikeout in the eighth.)
Collins started the defensive-minded Rivera behind the plate with the hope that it would help curtail the running game against Syndergaard. Rivera did throw out Alexei Ramirez on a second-inning steal attempt, although the Padres subsequently swiped two bases successfully. A fifth-inning steal by Jemile Weeks proved large. It put Weeks in scoring position for Jon Jay’s RBI single, which staked San Diego to a 2-0 lead. The Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants combined to go 8-for-8 in stolen-base attempts against Syndergaard in his previous two outings. Would-be stealers are now 29-for-32 against Syndergaard in his career.
Syndergaard allowed two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five in six innings. He did not have a clean inning all night. The outing could have been worse, but Syndergaard (2-2) capped an 11-pitch at-bat by striking out Derek Norris looking on a slider to leave two in scoring position in the fourth.