SAN DIEGO — The Mets’ six-game winning streak was no match Saturday night for one of baseball’s hottest pitchers.
Blake Snell carved up this lineup that had produced 16 runs over the previous two games, and even the lefty’s departure after six innings didn’t bring much change to the Mets’ outcomes at the plate.
Overall, the Mets managed just three hits and struck out 17 times in a 3-1 loss to the Padres at Petco Park that served as their first blemish on this road trip.
The Mets, who moved backward for the first time in over a week, to five games under .500, still can head to the All-Star break with a serious sense of momentum. But that will entail getting a win Sunday, with Max Scherzer on the mound, to give them a third straight series victory.
David Peterson gave the Mets a chance in a third straight start since his recall from Triple-A Syracuse by allowing three earned runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over 5 ¹/₃ innings.
Peterson gained steam in the fifth, when he struck out the side (Juan Soto, Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts) as the highlight of his night.
The Mets couldn’t touch the left-hander Snell, who fired six shutout innings in which he allowed one hit and three walks with 11 strikeouts.
It marked the fifth time in his last seven starts that Snell did not allow an earned run.
In his five June starts, Snell pitched to an 0.87 ERA. He hasn’t allowed a run in his two starts this month.
Matthew Batten, in his first at-bat of the season, smashed a two-run homer that gave the Padres a 3-0 lead in the second. The blast was Batten’s first of his major-league career — he debuted with the Padres last season, when he played 20 games.
Peterson surrendered a leadoff double to Gary Sanchez in the inning before Jake Cronenworth singled.
Starling Marte watched Brandon Dixon’s ensuing fly ball fall in front of him, but Marte fooled Cronenworth into believing he would catch it and easily threw him out at second base.
Snell struck out seven of eight batters to begin the game before the Mets got their first base runner on Mark Canha’s walk in the third.
Brandon Nimmo followed with an infield single, but Tommy Pham was retired to end the threat.
But Snell resumed striking out batters in the fourth, when Pete Alonso and Francisco Alvarez whiffed in succession to end the inning. It gave Snell nine strikeouts through four innings.
Brett Baty, who returned to the lineup after missing two starts with left hamstring soreness, reached on a catcher’s interference by Sanchez in the fifth.
But Baty got thrown out trying to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt by Snell, who reached double digits in strikeouts with Marte’s whiff in the inning.
Nimmo and Pham walked in succession in the sixth, but Snell rebounded to retire Francisco Lindor and Alonso to complete his night at 105 pitches.
Alvarez blasted a leadoff homer in the seventh against Luis Garcia that pulled the Mets within 3-1.
The homer was Alvarez’s fourth in five games on the road trip and gave him 17 for the season. In the game during this stretch that he didn’t homer (Friday), Alvarez went 4-for-5.
Alvarez came to the plate against Josh Hader in the ninth as the tying run after Lindor singled to open the inning, but became the Padres’ 17th and final strikeout of the night.