Padres jump out to 7-0 lead to beat Mets for sixth straight time at home

SAN DIEGO -- Adrian Gonzalez has been vocal about wanting to play for a winner in San Diego, and the All-Star first baseman likes the direction the team is taking.

Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in a four-run third inning and drove in three runs to lead the Padres to an 8-3 win over the New York Mets on Thursday night.

The victory capped manager Bud Black's night. San Diego announced during the game it extended Black's contract through the 2010 season and held an option for 2011.

"I'm happy for him," Gonzalez said. "He's a quality guy. We all enjoy playing for him."

San Diego also traded starting pitcher Chad Gaudin to the New York Yankees, opening another spot in the rotation for a young arm.

One such youngster, rookie Clayton Richard (1-0), won his first game in two starts since coming over from the White Sox with three other pitchers in the deal for Jake Peavy last week.

"I like the arm, I like the tempo," Black said. "A couple of hiccups, but he's not afraid to challenge people with the fastball. He is pitching with pretty good stuff."

The 25-year-old lefty had his first big league RBI and carried a 7-0 lead into the sixth inning before control problems helped New York to a three-run inning.

"He has a pretty good stuff," Padres catcher Henry Blanco said. "He's got pretty good talent. He's got a good plan before the game and he follows it. He keeps guys off balance, he works quick and everything is around the zone. That makes him tough."

Gonzalez hit his 29th home run and had a sacrifice fly in the first to help the Padres jump out into the lead as San Diego beat the Mets for the 10th time in 13 games and for the sixth straight time at home.

The Padres had 12 hits, including three from Blanco, the seventh time in 10 games they've had 10 or more hits.

Richard allowed three runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings with four walks and five strikeouts. He received a no decision in his first start with San Diego when he gave up one run on two hits over 5 2/3 innings on Saturday in a 4-2 win over Milwaukee.

Gonzalez had been withheld from the starting lineup the past two games to give him extra rest. His major league-best active games streak was snapped at 314 when he did not play Wednesday against Atlanta.

New York lost for the sixth time in eight games.

After scoring twice in the first, the Padres broke the game open in the third following a leadoff walk to David Eckstein and Gonzalez's home run to center off Livan Hernandez (7-6).

"I think the Gonzalez home run was the difference," Hernandez said. "The ball was out in the middle and he hit it good. I missed a lot of pitches outside, and sometimes it can be a struggle if I have to throw the ball more on the plate."

With one out, the Padres loaded the bases on consecutive walks and a single by Blanco. One run scored on an error by second baseman Alex Cora, filling in for an injured Luis Castillo, and Richard followed with an RBI single.

Blanco had an RBI double in the fifth to give Richard a 7-0 lead.

The Mets scored three times off Richard in the sixth after he walked Cora and David Wright to start the inning. Jeff Francoeur singled and a run scored on Tony Gwynn's error in center field. Fernando Tatis followed with an RBI single and New York added another run on double play groundball.

"Any time you give [walks], they are going to take advantage," Richard said. "That was the point in the game where I needed to have gone deeper and I didn't do it."

Said Francoeur: "The second and third time we faced him, we got some good swings. But I thought he had really good stuff. He'll do really well for them."

Hernandez allowed seven runs on eight hits in five innings. The right-hander walked four and struck out two.

Game notes
Gary Sheffield, who aggravated a hamstring injury Wednesday, took batting practice but was held out of the Mets' starting lineup. ... Mets' RHP Mike Pelfrey remained in New York with his wife, who was expecting the couples' first child. Pelfrey, who was scheduled to start on Saturday night, has been pushed back to Monday night at Arizona. Rookie Bobby Parnell will make his first major league start in place of Pelfrey.