SAN DIEGO — The positive vibes of abreakout offensive performancelasted fewer than 24 hours for the Mets.
Instead of building momentum, managerMickey Callaway’sscuffling lineup lapsed into another slumber in completing this forgettable road trip with a whimper.
“What we’re doing right now is not acceptable,” Callaway said after the Mets lost 3-2 to the Padres at Petco Park on Wednesday for a fifth defeat in six games. “We have to do better. We can’t all of a sudden score a few runs one game and everything is OK. We have to continue to do it.”
Robinson Cano, Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto went a combined 0-for-11 at the plate on a day the Mets (17-20) went scoreless over the final seven innings.
The power outage came a day after the Mets scored seven runs in a victory, snapping a streak of six straight games in which they had scored three runs or fewer.
“This is a long season and we’re relatively in a decent place,” Conforto said, noting that despite their recent woes the Mets trail the first-place Phillies by only 4 ½ games in the NL East. “[But] we’ve got to start taking advantage of the opportunities the other teams in the division are giving us and start playing better baseball.”
This one ended with Tomas Nido striking out against Kirby Yates to leave the tying run at second base as Callaway opted to stick with his backup catcher instead of using Wilson Ramos to pinch hit. Nido was 2-for-4, including his first homer of the season.
“We have been struggling offensively and [Nido] got one of our runs today and got another hit,” Callaway said in defending his decision to let Nido bat in the ninth. “We’re looking for answers and he stepped up at the plate and got half our runs. It was more about the way Nido was playing today than anything.”
Tyler Bashlor surrendered a go-ahead homer to Hunter Renfroe in the seventh after Wilmer Font and Robert Gsellman had prevented the Padres from taking the lead over the first six innings.
Brandon Nimmo, capping a 12-pitch at-bat, came within inches of putting the Mets ahead in the seventh, but center fielder Manuel Margot reached above the fence and kept Nimmo’s drive to center from leaving the yard, containing it to a double after nearly completing a circus catch.
With runners on second and third, reliever Gerardo Reyes entered and struck out Nido and pinch-hitter Todd Frazier on six pitches.
In the sixth, Margot had reached above the fence to steal a homer from Alonso.
“The kid in center field probably won the game for them today,” Callaway said. “He robbed a homer and made that play [on Nimmo] , kept it in the park.”
Font, acquired in a trade this week with the Rays, kept the Mets in the game by allowing two earned runs on three hits over four innings. The right-hander, who threw 60 pitches, was removed for a pinch hitter in the fifth in a 2-2 game.
Font surrendered a homer to Eric Hosmer leading off the second. In the third, Franmil Reyes hit a bloop that Amed Rosario couldn’t reach with his back to the infield for an RBI single that tied it 2-2. Maybe the only blame on Font in the inning was for surrendering a double to pitcher Matt Strahm.
Nido’s solo homer in the second gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. The blast was the first of the season for the backup catcher, giving him as many homers as Ramos.
Font received early defensive help as Nimmo raced into the right-center gap and fully extended to catch Manny Machado’s drive, ending the first inning.
Rosario delivered an RBI single after Jeff McNeil had opened the game with a broken-bat double past second base. Even as Rosario continues to struggle defensively, his offense has shown recent improvement: He was 8-for-24 (.333) on the road trip.
“As a team, 1-5 is not ideal,” Frazier said. “We had one game [Tuesday] where we hit the ball well, but putting two runs up we’re not going to win too many games.”