(Sports Network) - Petco Park has always been known as a pitcher's park, but that didn't stop the San Diego Padres from plating 18 runs in last night's series opener.
The right-hander seeks his fourth winning start in a row this evening, when New York tries to bounce back versus San Diego in the second contest of this three-game set.
The Padres set a season high in runs scored with last night's 18-6 victory, with Jerry Hairston Jr. setting the tone early with a grand slam in the second inning, the second of his career.
San Diego's 4-5-6 hitters -- Chase Headley, Nick Hundley and Chris Denorfia -- combined to go 10-for-13 with six RBI and nine runs scored, while Adrian Gonzalez added two hits, three runs scored and a pair of walks.
San Diego has won three straight and seven of its last nine and set a record for most runs scored in a game at Petco Park, surpassing the 17 runs they scored in their home opener on April 12 versus Atlanta.
"We were ahead in a lot of counts. We took some good swings, but we had a lot of balls fall in for us that sometimes don't," said Headley, who had four hits, a solo homer and scored four runs. "That's just part of the game. You're going to have games where you struggle to get one or two runs, and you're going to have games where everything you hit falls in for you."
Kevin Correia benefited from the offensive display, as he snapped a three-game losing streak despite allowing six runs over six innings of work. Still, he helped the Padres maintain their two-game edge over the Dodgers for first place in the National League West.
Rod Barajas hit a two-run homer and Jose Reyes had a two-run triple for the Mets, who have lost three of four since a five-game win streak. Hisanori Takahashi, who hadn't allowed a run over his first two starts versus the Phillies and Yankees, gave up six runs over just four innings to take the loss.
"Some teams are going to be hot and bang you around a little bit, but when you don't throw strikes, that's the thing that's discouraging to me," said Mets manager Jerry Manuel, whose club allowed its highest run total since July 26, 2004, when it allowed 19. You just can't defend that."
New York will hope for better luck tonight behind Pelfrey.
Pelfrey has pitched to a 1.31 earned run average over his win streak and hasn't lost since May 1 to up his season record to 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA. The ninth overall pick of the 2005 draft bested the Phillies on Thursday, working around three hits and five walks over seven scoreless innings by inducing three double plays in a 3-0 victory.
The 26-year-old Pelfrey has made three career starts versus the Padres, going 1-0 with a 4.08 ERA.
Meanwhile, the Padres hope that Wade LeBlanc can right the ship this evening, as he has lost three straight starts and is winless in five outings since an April 29 victory.
The left-hander was 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA prior to his personal losing streak and is coming off a loss to the Cardinals on Thursday. He gave up four runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings, allowing two homers for a second straight start. The setback came six days after LeBlanc was pounded for eight runs over just three innings versus Seattle.
"I think more than anything it was the lack of not getting the ball in good spots," Padres manager Bud Black told his team's website after the setback to the Cards. "Today I saw the ball elevated more than I have all year. There was not enough quality strikes down in the strike zone."
The 25-year-old is now 2-3 with a 3.71 ERA this year and faces the Mets for the first time in his career.
New York has struggled to a 2-10 mark over the last three-plus years at Petco Park, where it has lost 16 of its 22 all-time visits.
San Diego won five of seven overall versus New York last season and is 13-4 in the past 17 meetings in this series.