Bruce homers late, but Mets drop finale to SD

Bruce homers late, but Mets drop finale to SD

SAN DIEGO -- By definition, Manuel Margot and Dusty Coleman are both rookies. And so, it was a pair of rookies who powered the Padres to a 7-5 victory over the Mets in Thursday night's series finale.

The similarities end there. Margot -- 22 years old and the Padres' top prospect before the season, per MLBPipeline.com -- went 3-for-4 with a homer, knocking in three runs in the first two innings. Then, Coleman -- a 30-year-old journeyman who spent nine seasons in the Minors -- launched a three-run blast in the fifth, his first career big league homer.

"That's a lifetime of dreams right there in that one moment," Padres manager Andy Green said of Coleman. "It was a big swing for us -- won the game for us."

New father Margot continues to rake for Padres

The Padres jumped on Mets right-hander Chris Flexen in his big league debut. Flexen, New York's No. 17 prospect, allowed four runs (three earned) over three innings, walking four and giving up five hits.

Flexen's first career strikeout

"Obviously, it didn't go how I wanted it to," Flexen said. "I didn't really give this ballclub the best chance to win the game tonight. But it's still fun, a good learning experience."

Padres starter Luis Perdomo allowed four runs over 6 2/3 frames, including three in the Mets' four-run seventh. Immediately after Perdomo's departure, Jay Bruce smashed his 26th homer of the season, a two-run shot that cut the deficit to 7-5.

Perdomo fans Granderson

But the Padres' bullpen locked it down. Phil Maton -- thrust into a bigger role since Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer were dealt to Kansas City -- struck out the side in the eighth. Then, Brad Hand, the subject of trade speculation recently, pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two.

Hand K's Cabrera for the save

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Clearing the bases:
Flexen worked himself into trouble in the bottom of the second, putting three men on base via a hit, a walk and a hit by pitch. Margot made him pay, launching a rocket that one-hopped the center-field wall. Two runs scored on the double, and another came across when Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera bobbled his relay throw.

"I didn't feel like I was overly nervous," Flexen said. "I felt like I had all my emotions under control tonight. I felt in control the whole time. I just left a few pitches up, had a few mistakes and that's what cost us."

Three score on Margot's double

Dusty goes deep: Coleman's first career homer came after a tame start to the fifth for the Padres. With two outs, Mets reliever Tyler Pill walked a pair, before Coleman smashed a first-pitch fastball a projected 418 feet, per Statcast™. Coleman, who was called up Monday, had his wife and 9-month-old daughter in attendance for the milestone.

"You always dream of hitting a home run in the big leagues," Coleman said. "With a couple guys on in that situation, it's pretty cool." More >

Coleman's three-run home run

QUOTABLE
"If that's the conversation, they're dead wrong." -- Mets manager Terry Collins, on the notion that by trading first baseman Lucas Duda, his team has given up on the season

Mets deal Duda to Rays, acquire RHP Smith

"You love the fact that you can say you played ugly, ugly baseball, but you won. It was that type of day today." -- Green, on Padres' win

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Flexen became the fourth Mets player and third full-time pitcher to allow a home run to the first big league batter he faced. Jonathon Niese also did so on Sept. 2, 2008, and Steven Matz on June 28, 2015. Infielder Matt Franco also surrendered a homer in his pitching debut. In addition, three pitchers on other teams did it this season: Brad Goldberg (White Sox), Michael Brady (A's) and Kevin Shackelford (Cardinals).

PITCHERS' BATTING PRACTICE
The Mets were already playing with a short bench when they dealt Duda several hours prior to the game, leaving them with just three reserve position players. One of those, Rene Rivera, was their only backup catcher, while another, T.J. Rivera, was nursing a sore right elbow. As a result, starting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Matz each received pinch-hit opportunities for the Mets. Neither reached base.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Each club challenged a play at home plate in the bottom of the first, with the Mets coming out on top both times. First, Padres third baseman Cory Spangenberg dropped a safety squeeze back to Flexen, who threw home. Carlos Asuaje was initially ruled safe, but replays showed that catcher Travis d'Arnaud applied the tag just in time, and the call was overturned.

Flexen throws Asuaje out at home

Jabari Blash was the next batter, but after he swung through a 1-1 pitch, Spangenberg broke for second. On d'Arnaud's throw, Wil Myers broke for home, but he didn't beat the return throw. The Padres challenged the call, but it was confirmed.

Flores throws Myers out at home

WHAT'S NEXT
Mets: All-Star outfielder Michael Conforto will return to his home state when the Mets travel to Seattle for a three-game series beginning Friday at 10:10 p.m. ET. Rafael Montero will start the opener opposite Mariners left-hander Ariel Miranda, with dozens of Conforto's friends and family in attendance. The Mets outfielder grew up about a 20-minute drive east of Seattle.

Padres: Travis Wood is set for his Padres debut Friday night at 7:10 p.m. PT, when the Pirates come to town for the opener of a three-game series. The veteran left-hander joined San Diego this week in a six-player swap that sent Trevor Cahill, Buchter and Maurer to Kansas City.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.