San Diego at New York

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San Diego (6-2) «130011000690
N.Y. Mets (3-4)010040000571

Padres, miscues ruin Mets' opening game at Citi Field

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- The place looked gorgeous. The Mets looked lost.

Jody Gerut christened Citi Field with a leadoff home run -- the only time that has happened in major league history -- and the San Diego Padres spoiled New York's first game in its glittering new ballpark with a 6-5 victory Monday night.

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Pedro Feliciano balked in the go-ahead run and the Mets made several costly mistakes, opening Citi Field the same way they closed Shea Stadium: with a dud.

"It's bittersweet," David Wright said. "Winning will do a lot more than the park."

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Gerut's shot off Mike Pelfrey marked the first time that the first batter homered in the opening game at a big league ballpark, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"Very cool," Gerut said. "Maybe at the end of the season when I look back on this, I'll have a greater sense of what happened here. But at the time, all I'm thinking is that it put us ahead."

Wright rallied New York from an early four-run hole with a three-run homer that tied it, but it wasn't enough. Duaner Sanchez and Heath Bell, both former Mets relievers, closed out the fifth straight win for surprising San Diego, expected to be one of baseball's worst teams this year.

Adrian Gonzalez also homered for the Padres, who improved to 6-2.

The Mets are looking for more success at $800 million Citi Field than they had at big Shea, where they spent 45 seasons that produced two World Series championships -- and September collapses each of the past two years.

The Mets lost to Florida in the Shea finale last season, eliminating them from playoff contention. They haven't been any better in their stadium openers -- New York dropped its first game at the old Polo Grounds (1962) and at Shea Stadium (1964), both by 4-3 scores to Pittsburgh.

Wide-eyed fans filed in Monday through the stately Jackie Robinson Rotunda, many snapping photos and searching for souvenirs only steps from where Shea Stadium was razed to make room for Citi Field's parking lot.

Pregame ceremonies included Hall of Famer Tom Seaver and former New York catcher Mike Piazza walking in together from the bullpen, both wearing Mets jerseys. Seaver threw out the first pitch to Piazza, a strike, and pumped his fist.

Both players autographed the ball, which is headed to the Hall of Fame.

With its intricate brickwork and charming archways, Citi Field was designed to invoke the warmth of Ebbets Field, beloved home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913-57.

Even the team mascot, Mr. Met, has his own room under the stands.

"It's impressive. It's a nice place. It's such a stark, dramatic change from Shea Stadium," said Padres Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, now an executive vice president and senior adviser for San Diego.

The Mets tested out the cozy ballpark with two exhibition games April 3-4 against Boston. But this was the real thing, and it certainly didn't go as planned.

Gerut pulled Pelfrey's third pitch down the right-field line, stunning a sold-out crowd of 41,007. The first hit at Shea Stadium also was a home run, by Pirates Hall of Famer Willie Stargell off "Fat Jack" Fisher on April 17, 1964.

"That's probably the only place in the yard where I can get it out. This park plays pretty big," Gerut said.

Indeed, Wright and Carlos Beltran hammered long drives to center that Gerut caught near the fence, balls that probably would have left most big league parks -- including Shea.

Pelfrey looked out of sorts all night in his team's new digs. He caught a cleat on the mound in mid-delivery, sending the 6-feet-7 right-hander tumbling awkwardly to the turf in the second inning with Padres starter Walter Silva at the plate.

Pelfrey wasn't hurt, so he tried to wave off manager Jerry Manuel and a team trainer. They came out to check on him anyway.

"I asked them if the game was on TV. It was pretty embarrassing," Pelfrey said.

Silva then slapped a two-out single, sparking a three-run rally that included David Eckstein's two-run double and Brian Giles' soft RBI single.

Gonzalez gave San Diego a 5-1 cushion with a fifth-inning home run against Pelfrey that caromed off the screen attached to the right-field foul pole.

"We just haven't seen the life in those pitches," Manuel said. "We'll have to really sit down and see if there's anything wrong with him."

The Mets finally revved up their fans in the bottom of the fifth. Daniel Murphy hit an RBI single and Wright reached down to yank a full-count pitch over the retired numbers above the 364-foot sign on the left-field fence.

The homer tied it at 5 and chased Silva, a 32-year-old rookie. It also raised -- for the first time during a game -- the shiny red apple nestled behind the center-field wall. The old apple was a staple at Shea, weather-beaten but always a favorite touch for fans.

The Mets, however, gave away the decisive run in the sixth.

With Brian Stokes (0-1) pitching, Luis Rodriguez opened the inning with a long fly to right that glanced off Ryan Church's glove for a three-base error. Two outs later, Feliciano balked home a run that put the Padres up 6-5.

Murphy dropped a deep fly to left on Sunday in Florida, leading to two runs in a 2-1 loss.

"Right now it just seems like we're a little off. We're not playing a complete game," Wright said.

Edward Mujica (1-1) retired his only batter for his first major league victory. Sanchez worked a perfect eighth and Bell pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his fourth save.

Notes

  • Gary Sheffield is slated to get his first Mets start Wednesday night in right field.
  • Mets ace Johan Santana was in Florida with his pregnant wife, who was to have labor induced Tuesday. Santana is expected back in time to take his turn in the rotation Saturday against Milwaukee.
  • Padres OF Cliff Floyd (strained right shoulder) could begin a minor league rehab assignment this week, manager Bud Black said.
  • The Mets released OF Marlon Anderson.
 
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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Mets Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field.
 
Mets Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field. (US Presswire)
 

Players of the Game
San Diego

J. Gerut
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
New York

D. Wright
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

Related Video

San Diego Padres
Jody Gerut, CF4221102 .278
David Eckstein, 2B4132100 .286
Brian Giles, RF5011005 .161
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B5111012 .276
Chase Headley, LF3000210 .194
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B5010002 .214
Nick Hundley, C4000032 .313
Luis Rodriguez, SS3100101 .231
Walter Silva, P2110000 .333
    Edward Mujica, P0000000 .000
   a- Edgar Gonzalez, PH1000001 .125
    Edwin Moreno, P0000000 .000
   b- Everth Cabrera, PH1000001 .167
    Duaner Sanchez, P0000000 .000
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
Totals3769555  
a-grounded out for Mujica in the 6th
b-popped out-bunting for Moreno in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jody Gerut (3, Pelfrey), David Eckstein 2 (4, Pelfrey, Feliciano)
HR - Jody Gerut (1, Pelfrey), Adrian Gonzalez (2, Pelfrey)
RBI - Jody Gerut (2), David Eckstein 2 (4), Brian Giles (4), Adrian Gonzalez (7)
2-OUT RBI - David Eckstein 2 (3), Brian Giles (2)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jody Gerut 1
San Diego Padres
Walter Silva 4.2555321 6.52
Edward Mujica (W,1-1) 0.1000000 7.36
Edwin Moreno (H,2) 2200120 0.00
Duaner Sanchez (H,3) 1000000 0.00
Heath Bell (S,4) 1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Walter Silva 91-53, Edward Mujica 1-1, Edwin Moreno 34-22, Duaner Sanchez 11-7, Heath Bell 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Walter Silva 5-6, Duaner Sanchez 2-1, Heath Bell 1-2
Batters Faced - Walter Silva 21, Edward Mujica 1, Edwin Moreno 9, Duaner Sanchez 3, Heath Bell 3
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4110103 .241
Daniel Murphy, LF4111010 .290
David Wright, 3B4123010 .333
Carlos Delgado, 1B4000021 .333
Carlos Beltran, CF4010000 .345
Ryan Church, RF3000101 .423
Brian Schneider, C3100102 .167
Luis Castillo, 2B3011101 .368
Mike Pelfrey, P1000001 .000
   a- Gary Sheffield, PH1100001 .000
    Brian Stokes, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
   b- Jeremy Reed, PH1010000 .500
    Sean Green, P0000000 .000
    J.J. Putz, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
   c- Fernando Tatis, PH1000000 .000
Totals3357544  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Pelfrey in the 5th
b-singled for Feliciano in the 6th
c-flied out for Rodriguez in the 9th
Batting
2B - David Wright (2, Silva), Luis Castillo (2, Silva)
HR - David Wright (1, Silva)
RBI - Daniel Murphy (3), David Wright 3 (4), Luis Castillo (2)
2-OUT RBI - Daniel Murphy (1), David Wright 3 (4), Luis Castillo (1)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Ryan Church (1, Dropped fly)
New York Mets
Mike Pelfrey 5855232 8.10
Brian Stokes (L,0-1) 0.1010000 0.00
Pedro Feliciano 0.2100000 9.00
Sean Green 1000110 2.45
J.J. Putz 1000200 2.25
Francisco Rodriguez 1000010 0.00
WP - J.J. Putz (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 88-56, Brian Stokes 9-5, Pedro Feliciano 11-7, Sean Green 18-10, J.J. Putz 21-12, Francisco Rodriguez 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 5-7, Brian Stokes 1-1, Pedro Feliciano 2-0, Sean Green 2-0, J.J. Putz 2-1
Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 25, Brian Stokes 2, Pedro Feliciano 3, Sean Green 4, J.J. Putz 5, Francisco Rodriguez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41007
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 54
Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bill Hohn