New York at San Diego

N.Y. Mets «0010000607120
San Diego101000000270

Franco, Matsui hit notable home runs as Mets top S.D.

CBS wire reports

SAN DIEGO -- Julio Franco doesn't intend to slow down any time soon.

Franco became the oldest player in major league history to hit a home run when he connected for a two-run, pinch-hit shot in the eighth inning Thursday night to help the New York Mets rally for a 7-2 win over the San Diego Padres.

Franco, 47, drove a 1-0 pitch from reliever Scott Linebrink (1-2) into the home-run porch down the right-field line at Petco Park. That gave the Mets a 3-2 lead and Franco the spot in the record book that had been belonged to Athletics pitcher Jack Quinn, who was 46 years, 357 days old when he homered on June 27, 1930.

Franco already was the oldest player to hit a grand slam, a pinch-hit homer and have a multihomer game.

"That won't be the last home run I hit, and I hope I hit one when I'm 50," said Franco, who has four career pinch-hit homers.

He wasn't joking.

"Why not? They signed me here for two years," said Franco, who turns 48 on Aug. 23. "God gave me the great gift to play the game of baseball, and I want to play until I'm 50. If He gives me two more years, don't you think He's going to give me another one?"

If Franco lasts that long, he'll turn 50 during the 2008 season.

The fan who ended up with the ball gave it to Franco in exchange for a bat. Anticipating a call from the Hall of Fame, Franco said he'd send either the ball or the bat, but not both.

The Mets had as many hits in the six-run eighth as they did in their previous two games, when they were the victims of consecutive three-hitters by the Atlanta Braves.

Franco, in his 29th season in pro ball, signed with the Mets as a free agent on Dec. 9. The oldest player in the majors, his one-out homer came with former Padres player Xavier Nady aboard on a leadoff double.

"Losing those two games in a row, Peavy was throwing a great game," Franco said, referring to Padres ace Jake Peavy, who left with a 2-1 lead after seven. "We lost 2-1 yesterday, and it wouldn't be good to lose 2-1 today. It makes it more of an accomplishment."

Kaz Matsui hit another notable homer for the Mets. His inside-the-park homer leading off the third made this the third straight year he's homered in his first at-bat of the season. The last player to do that was Ken Griffey Jr. from 1997-99, while with Seattle.

"I'm having difficulty trying to get a grasp of it," Matsui said through an interpreter. "Today was an inside-the-parker. I can't believe it myself."

Matsui was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He opened the season on the DL with a sprained ligament in his right knee.

Matsui hit a fly ball off Peavy that glanced off the glove of retreating right fielder Brian Giles, bounced off a sign on the fence and rolled along the fence toward the right-center gap.

Matsui raced around the bases and arrived at the plate at the same time as the relay throw, but catcher Mike Piazza couldn't hold onto the ball.

It was Matsui's first career inside-the-park homer, and the first by a Mets player since Marlon Anderson did it against the Los Angeles Angels last June 11.

After Franco's homer, the Mets piled it on with Carlos Delgado's two-run homer, his sixth, and RBI singles by Endy Chavez and Cliff Floyd.

As a rookie in 2004, Matsui became the second player in big league history to hit his first home run in his first at-bat while leading off a game to start a season.

San Diego came back in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 2-1 on Dave Roberts' single off Steve Trachsel. Roberts' second straight hit scored Ben Johnson, who had a leadoff single and advanced on Peavy's groundout.

San Diego chased Trachsel in the process of loading the bases with none out in the seventh, but failed to score. Pinch-hitter Eric O. Young hit into an inning-ending double play off Duaner Sanchez (1-0), the third Mets reliever of the inning.

Peavy was hit on the right shin by a comebacker by Trachsel in the third but stayed in the game. Peavy struck out five in seven innings, allowing four hits and one run. Trachsel allowed two runs and six hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two.

Peavy had X-rays after the game, which didn't show a break. The training staff put a compress on the shin during the game.

Trachsel "was coming to get me," Peavy said. "He hurt me there."


  • Mets CF Carlos Beltran returned to the lineup after missing the last four games with a strained right hamstring, but felt discomfort and left the game after the fourth inning. He said he'll have an MRI on Friday.
  • Floyd played for the first time since leaving Monday's game against Atlanta with a strained rib cage.
  • Piazza faced the Mets for the first time since leaving New York as a free agent in the offseason. He played with the Mets for 7 1/2 seasons.
  • Another former Mets player, Padres CF Mike Cameron, began a rehab assignment on Thursday night with Class A Lake Elsinore and could be activated during this four-game series. Cameron started the season on the DL with a strained muscle in his side. Traded from New York to San Diego for Nady in the offseason, Cameron hasn't played since being injured in a face-to-face collision with Beltran in the outfield at Petco Park on Aug. 11.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Get this ... Julio Franco, who homers in the Mets' win over San Diego, was born in 1958.  (Getty Images)
Get this ... Julio Franco, who homers in the Mets' win over San Diego, was born in 1958. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
San Diego

J. Peavy
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 0
K 5
New York

J. Franco
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5120010 .273
Paul Lo Duca, C5000002 .319
Carlos Beltran, CF2010000 .286
    Endy Chavez, CF2111010 .125
Carlos Delgado, 1B4122011 .339
David Wright, 3B3110112 .352
Cliff Floyd, LF4011002 .205
Xavier Nady, RF4110022 .364
Kaz Matsui, 2B4111001 .250
Steve Trachsel, P2000000 .167
    Chad Bradford, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Duaner Sanchez, P0000000 .000
   a- Julio Franco, PH1112000 .286
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   b- Jose Valentin, PH1010000 .063
    Jorge Julio, P0000000 .000
a-homered for Sanchez in the 8th
b-singled for Heilman in the 9th
2B - David Wright (4, Peavy), Xavier Nady (5, Linebrink)
HR - Carlos Delgado (6, Embree), Kaz Matsui (1, Peavy), Julio Franco (1, Linebrink)
RBI - Endy Chavez (1), Carlos Delgado 2 (16), Cliff Floyd (6), Kaz Matsui (1), Julio Franco 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Endy Chavez (1), Carlos Delgado 2 (7), Cliff Floyd (3)
SB - Jose Reyes (6, 2nd base off Linebrink/Mirabelli), David Wright (2, 2nd base off Embree/Mirabelli)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Wright-Matsui-Delgado, Wright-Matsui-Delgado
New York Mets
Steve Trachsel 6622230 3.71
Chad Bradford0100000 0.00
Pedro Feliciano 0.1000000 0.00
Duaner Sanchez (W,1-0) 0.2000000 0.00
Aaron Heilman 1000020 3.00
Jorge Julio 1000020 10.80
Pitches-Strikes - Steve Trachsel 101-55, Chad Bradford 5-4, Pedro Feliciano 3-3, Duaner Sanchez 2-1, Aaron Heilman 11-7, Jorge Julio 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Steve Trachsel 7-7, Duaner Sanchez 1-0, Aaron Heilman 1-0, Jorge Julio 1-0
Batters Faced - Steve Trachsel 25, Chad Bradford 1, Pedro Feliciano 1, Duaner Sanchez 1, Aaron Heilman 3, Jorge Julio 3
San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts, LF3121000 .283
   a- Eric Young, PH-LF1000001 .185
Josh Barfield, 2B4000022 .278
Brian Giles, RF4021011 .306
Mike Piazza, C3000002 .214
    Doug Mirabelli, C1000000 .200
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3000101 .305
Khalil Greene, SS4010021 .211
Vinny Castilla, 3B3000121 .314
Ben Johnson, CF3120000 .333
Jake Peavy, P2000000 .143
   b- Geoff Blum, PH1000003 .000
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
    Alan Embree, P0000000 .000
    Scott Cassidy, P0000000 .000
    Jon Adkins, P0000000 .000
a-grounded into a double play for Roberts in the 7th
b-fouled out for Peavy in the 7th
3B - Dave Roberts (3, Trachsel)
RBI - Dave Roberts (5), Brian Giles (5)
SB - Khalil Greene (2, 2nd base off Trachsel/Lo Duca)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Barfield-Gonzalez, Castilla-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Jake Peavy 7411051 4.32
Scott Linebrink (BS,1; L,1-2) 0.2333001 4.50
Alan Embree0333101 3.52
Scott Cassidy 0.1000010 1.13
Jon Adkins 1200000 5.40
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Peavy 96-63, Scott Linebrink 17-9, Alan Embree 11-6, Scott Cassidy 4-3, Jon Adkins 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Peavy 8-7, Scott Linebrink 1-1, Jon Adkins 1-1
Batters Faced - Jake Peavy 24, Scott Linebrink 5, Alan Embree 4, Scott Cassidy 1, Jon Adkins 4
Game Information
Attendance - 28791
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Chris Guccione