Especially in extra innings.
Adrian Gonzalez hit an opposite-field grand slam -- his fourth hit to left field -- with one out in the 11th to lift the Padres to a 5-1 win on Wednesday.
It was the fourth extra-inning game in San Diego's last 10 home games, with the Padres winning three of them. Overall, the Padres are 4-2 in extra-inning games this season at Petco Park.
"It's just incredible," Gonzalez said about the team's confidence level in home extra-inning games at their spacious ballpark. "This park is built for the home team. If we play the game right, we have the best chance of winning. With the pitching we've got, it's a great place to be in."
After Tony Gwynn Jr. doubled leading off the 11th, Padres right-hander Jon Garland made the second pinch-hitting appearance of his career, laying down a bunt that Raul Valdes (2-2) fielded and threw to third to get Gwynn. Jerry Hairston Jr. singled and David Eckstein, who singled in the tying run with two outs in the ninth, was hit by a pitch on the left knee to load the bases.
Gonzalez then homered into the left-field seats on a 1-1 pitch.
"I was just trying to get a sac fly and I was able to get more, so it was great," Gonzalez said.
It was the third career grand slam and second career game-winning home run for the All-Star first baseman.
"With Adrian, you feel pretty good about it because he has such great bat control," manager Bud Black said. "He has the ability to do that, which he did all game, to take the ball the other way. If he recognizes a pattern where they're pitching him in, he can turn on the ball. We were in pretty good shape there, especially the way that he's been swinging the bat with balls on the outside part of the plate. He's taking what they're giving them."
The Mets wasted a second straight strong performance by Santana, the left-hander who has thrown 15 straight scoreless innings in his last two starts but has two no-decisions to show for his efforts.
Francisco Rodriguez was one strike away from saving a 1-0 victory for Santana when Eckstein singled up the middle to bring in Gwynn from second with the tying run. Gwynn hit a leadoff pinch-hit single and stole second before Rodriguez struck out pinch-hitter Matt Stairs and Jerry Hairston Jr. Eckstein fell behind 0-2 before getting his hit.
"I get him 0-2 and I have to make a quality pitch and I didn't," Rodriguez said.
In his previous start, Santana pitched eight scoreless innings but didn't get the decision in a 2-0 loss at Milwaukee on Friday night, after allowing just three hits on 105 pitches.
Santana threw 123 pitches in seven innings on Wednesday, allowing five hits, striking out three and walking a season-high five.
"I was battling. It was a tough one," Santana said. "But I always found the right pitch to get out of those situations."
Said Black: "We had a couple of opportunities to put a little stress on him, but we just didn't get the hit to break through. Clayton matched him. Clayton pitched well, too."
San Diego left-hander Clayton Richard allowed one run and four hit in six innings, struck out five and walked four.
"We had a great pitcher of our own," Gonzalez said. "We knew we were going to have a good game and all we needed to do was do exactly what we did. You have to win these games like the way we did today."
Ryan Webb (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win.
Jeff Francoeur singled in New York's run in the fourth.
Mets 2B Luis Castillo sat out again, this time with a problem with his right heel that has developed along with his bruised left foot. ... The Mets haven't won consecutive road games or a road series this year. ... Valdes had a tough series. Facing 10 batters in two games, he got only one out while allowing five hits, eight runs, three walks and a home run. He allowed four runs Friday night, when San Diego had 19 hits and won 18-6 to set a Petco Park scoring record.
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