SAN DIEGO -- The New York Mets occupy first place for the first time since sharing the top spot in the National League East three games into the season. And Matt Harvey's fastball again is sizzling at 97 mph.
Antonio Bastardo came on with the bases loaded and none out in the eighth and proceeded to get the Mets (19-11) out of that jam unscathed to preserve the one-run lead. Bastardo struck out Derek Norris, retired Melvin Upton Jr. on a popout to first base and struck out Alexei Ramirez.
Harvey, as has been the case, stumbled in the fifth inning. He surrendered a two-run homer to Christian Bethancourt in that frame. But Harvey narrowly maintained the lead and ultimately improved to 3-4 with a 4.50 ERA.
He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks on 102 pitches over six innings.
After Bethancourt’s fifth-inning homer pulled the Padres within 3-2, opposing pitcher Andrew Cashner struck out but reached base on a wild pitch. Jon Jay then sent a double into the right-field corner. San Diego third-base coach Glenn Hoffman waved Cashner home, and catcher Kevin Plawecki narrowly applied the tag ahead of Cashner touching the plate with a headfirst slide.
The Padres (13-19) challenged the ruling, and fans chanted, “Safe! Safe! Safe!” while watching replays on the new video board in left field. However, after a one-minute, 52-second review, the out call on the field was confirmed.
Harvey nonetheless has surrendered 15 earned runs in the fifth inning or later this season, compared with five earned runs in the opening four innings. Three of the four homers Harvey has given up this season have come in the fifth inning or beyond. On Sunday, the lone hit through four innings against Harvey came on a bunt single by Cashner -- the first time through the order.
Likely affected by the dash from first base to the plate, Cashner departed four pitches into the sixth with an escort from the trainer. He was diagnosed with a right hamstring cramp.
Brad Hand, who replaced Cashner, surrendered a double to Harvey off the top of the center-field wall. Asdrubal Cabrera then delivered his second RBI of the game on a two-out single as the Mets took a 4-2 lead.
Harvey had a two-hit game for the fourth time in his career. He became the third Mets pitcher with a multiple-hit game at Petco Park, joining Tom Glavine (2005) and Johan Santana (2009).
Jim Henderson replaced Harvey and balked home a run in the seventh as San Diego pulled within 4-3.
Odds & ends: Neil Walker, out of the starting lineup with a bruised right shin, pinch hit in the eighth and struck out. … Eric Campbell started for only the second time this season. He and Cabrera contributed RBI singles in a two-run second inning. … Yoenis Cespedes already has 11 homers this season. That’s a mark he did not reach until July 6 with the Detroit Tigers in 2015. Cespedes' leadoff homer in the third staked the Mets to a 3-0 lead.
What’s next: The Mets bus up to Los Angeles for a rematch of the highly charged 2015 NL Division Series against Chase Utley and the Dodgers.
Steven Matz (4-1, 2.83 ERA) opposes ex-Met Scott Kazmir (2-2, 5.68) in Monday’s 10:10 p.m. ET series opener. Matz is 4-0 with a 0.67 ERA in his past four starts and has a 13 2/3-inning scoreless streak.
The Mets will face three left-handed pitchers in the four-game series at Dodger Stadium: Kazmir, Alex Wood and Clayton Kershaw. Left-handed starting pitchers have held the Mets to a 1.16 ERA in 23 1/3 innings this season. All of the runs came on one swing -- a pinch-hit, three-run homer by Cespedes against Cincinnati’s Brandon Finnegan.