Joey Lucchesi turned in his longest outing of the season and José Peraza ripped a two-run blast, but the Mets’ bullpen collapsed in the seventh inning and the Padres rallied to salvage the final game of a three-game series, 7-3.
Armed with his unique pitch, a churve, Lucchesi brushed off a leadoff solo shot by Padres left fielder Tommy Pham and tossed five innings of one-run ball, striking out six along the way.
Peraza’s go-ahead two-run shot in the fifth, his fourth of the season, put the Mets in front, but that narrow lead evaporated in the seventh inning, when the Padres jumped all over New York’s bullpen.
After pitching around a pair of hits in a scoreless sixth inning, Jeurys Familia returned for the seventh and lost all control. He walked a pair of batters and allowed a single before walking in a run with the bases loaded.
The Mets then turned to Jacob Barnes, who gave up a grand slam to Fernando Tatis, Jr. One batter later, Manny Machado launched a homer to left to put the Padres up by five runs.
Familia was charged with four runs in one and two-thirds innings of work, while Barnes allowed two runs while recording just one out. Drew Smith pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
Mets manager Luis Rojas, facing questions for leaving Familia in the game while he walked multiple batters, pointed to his shorthanded bullpen after the game, saying Miguel Castro, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, and Aaron Loup were not available to pitch.
Padres starter Chris Paddack managed to keep the Mets at bay for the first four frames, though he ran into trouble in the fifth when he gave up a one-out hit to center fielder Mason Williams and watched Peraza crush a high fastball over the wall in center field.
The Mets finished just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Williams had two hits and scored a run, while Francisco Lindor also produced a pair of hits for the Mets — including his eighth double of the year. Luis Guillorme, who returned during the series after a stint on the injured list, took advantage of the shift with an opposite-field hit in the first inning.
After striking out twice to begin the game, Pete Alonso connected a single up the middle in the sixth inning and later got drilled in the helmet by a pitch in the eighth inning, but seemed to escape unscathed. Later that inning, Dom Smith scored the Mets’ third run thanks to an errant throw by Padres second baseman Jake Cronenworth.
The Mets (32-25) will continue their seven-game home stand with a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs (37-27) that starts Monday night at Citi Field. Southpaw David Peterson will get the start as he looks to rebound after posting a 9.88 ERA over his last four outings.