Home News J.D. Martinez’s 2-run double leads Mets past Padres

J.D. Martinez’s 2-run double leads Mets past Padres

J.D. Martinez may singlehandedly be saving the Mets from a summer selloff.

One night after a walk-off home run led the Mets over the Miami Marlins, the designated hitter’s two-run double helped the Mets defeat the San Diego Padres 2-1 on Friday night at Citi Field. The slugger powered the Amazins’ past the Padres with an opposite-field flare off knuckleballer Matt Waldron in the second inning. It wasn’t exactly a signature home run, but it was the timely hitting the Mets needed in the first game of a three-game set.

Waldron flummoxed the Mets for seven innings. He mixed in a few low-90s fastballs as well as sinkers and sliders, showcasing a variety of speeds in a variety of situations. He faced traffic only once, with Martinez’s hit being one of only three allowed.

Jeff McNeil walked with one out in the third and it looked as though Francisco Lindor had connected for a home run, but the ball fell just short into the glove of center fielder Jackson Merrill at the wall.

But Brandon Nimmo singled to right to keep the inning going and bring up Martinez.

With two on and two out, Martinez got a 91 MPH fastball off the end of his bat, looping it into right field for a double. McNeil and Nimmo scored to put the Mets up 2-0.

Waldron (4-6) didn’t give the Mets much more to work with after that, limiting them to two earned runs on three hits, walking two, striking out two and hitting two batters.

Left-hander Sean Manaea (4-3) went five innings in the win, limiting San Diego to one earned run on four hits. The one run came off the bat of Merrill in the fifth inning, his sixth homer of the season. Tyrone Taylor leapt up the wall to try to grab it but the ball bounced right above him at the orange line, cutting the Mets’ lead in half.

Manaea faced only one hitter after that, having already thrown 87 pitches when he entered the sixth inning, giving up a leadoff single to Luis Arraez. The Mets went to right-hander Adam Ottavino much earlier than usual. Francisco Alvarez and McNeil helped out Ottavino by catching Arraez stealing, with McNeil belly-flopping to tag the runner after he slid past the base. Ottavino then retired Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jurickson Profar to get out of the inning.

After getting the first two outs in the seventh, the Mets went to left-hander Jake Diekman to get left-handed Jake Cronenworth out. Diekman hit him and then walked Ha-Seong Kim to put two on with two out.

Merrill then hit one deep to center field, but Nimmo tracked it down in the left field corner for the third out.

Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley pitched a perfect eighth to set up the save for closer Edwin Diaz. In typical, 2024 Diaz fashion, he made it interesting. Profar singled to lead off the inning and pinch-runner Jose Azocar stole second base. Azocar made it to third base on a ground ball by Donovan Solano, with McNeil preventing the tying run from scoring by making a fantastic sliding stop for the out.

Diaz struck out Cronenworth to convert his sixth save and secure the win, the third straight for the Mets (31-37) and their seventh in their last nine tries.

The series with San Diego (37-36) continues Saturday at 4:10 p.m.


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