SAN DIEGO (AP) — The New York Mets gave Jacob deGrom a one-run lead right away and the big right-hander made it stand up until Asdrubal Cabrera added on with an impressive home run.
DeGrom held San Diego to five hits in 7 1/3 innings to win for the first time in four starts and Cabrera hit a three-run homer to lead the Mets to a 5-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
DeGrom (3-0) snapped a string of three straight no-decisions. He struck out eight and walked three.
"He's got such good life to his fastball,"" manager Mickey Callaway said. "He's got great extension, so it plays even harder than it already is. He was kind of exposing some of the hitters' weaknesses at times instead of just trying to throw the ball over the plate. He's attacking and trying to expose their weaknesses as well."
The Mets took a quick lead off Clayton Richard (1-3) when Cabrera hit a leadoff double and scored with one out when Todd Frazier singled between rookie third baseman Christian Villanueva and shortstop Freddy Galvis when the Padres had a drawn-in infield.
DeGrom settled in and largely kept the Padres off the bases. Only two Padres reached second base. With two singles, Galvis was the only San Diego batter to reach base twice against deGrom.
Cabrera gave deGrom a nice cushion when he hit reliever Craig Stammen's first pitch into the stands in right field with two outs in the seventh. It was his fifth. Juan Lagares and Jose Lobaton were aboard on singles.
"Any time you get more runs is a positive," deGrom said. "I was just trying to go out there and put up zeros. Any time you get extra run support is a plus."
Matt Harvey made his second appearance since being demoted to the bullpen, allowing Franchy Cordero's leadoff homer in the ninth, his fifth, and walking Jose Pirela. Harvey then retired the side, ending the game by getting Galvis to ground into a double play.
Harvey said he's "just getting used to the preparation, going down there and being able to see how guys get ready. Trying to learn from them and pick up little things that may help me get loose, finding a way to make sure that I'm more ready.
"Today I didn't do a good enough job of keeping loose, something I'll just have to learn from and pick up some tips from some of the other guys."
Villanueva singled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Galvis made nice plays at shortstop to record consecutive outs in the fourth. He flipped the ball with his glove to second baseman Carlos Asuaje to force Michael Conforto and then made a sliding stop of Lobaton's grounder and forced Lagares with a throw while tumbling onto his backside.
Richard allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out four and walked three.
"I felt good throughout," Richard said. "Unfortunately I gave up one in the first which is difficult when you have an ace on the other side. Giving away a lead early in the game against a guy like that really hurts."
The Padres came in leading the majors with 273 strikeouts.
They only struck out eight times Friday night, compared to 16 in their previous game, a loss at Colorado on Wednesday.
"Clayton pitched well enough to win a baseball game tonight. We couldn't get it for him," manager Andy Green said.
"I thought we battled better than we have."
Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer returned from the family medical leave list. Before the game, he received his Gold Glove from 2017, when he was with Kansas City. It was his fourth.
Mets: LHP Jason Vargas makes his season debut Saturday night. He made three spring training appearances before suffering a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone on his right hand. He underwent surgery on March 20. He made a rehab start with Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday.
Padres: Rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi (2-1, 2.70) looks to bounce back from his first loss last Saturday at Arizona. He leads all rookies in ERA and opponent OBP (.283).