Tony Clark took a smooth swing and let Billy Wagner supply the power.
Clark connected for a pinch-hit, three-run homer off Wagner with two outs in the eighth inning yesterday, sending the San Diego Padres to an 8-6 victory and a four-game sweep of the visiting New York Mets.
The 6-7 Clark drove a 96 mph fastball over the centerfield fence to help San Diego extend its season-high winning streak to five games.
"I have enough of a history to know that he's a handful," Clark said of Wagner. "He's throwing mid-to-high 90s [mph]. You simply try to get the bat head over the ball and take your chances from there."
The go-ahead shot sent the staggering Mets (30-32) home after a 2-5 trip to California. New York has a day off today before opening a six-game homestand against NL West-leading Arizona. The Mets, a World Series favorite before the season, are fourth in the NL East, 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Phillies.
"I don't know what to say," manager Willie Randolph said. "I'm not usually at a loss for words, but what do you say? We finally score some runs and Billy's been pitching lights-out. It's frustrating."
The Padres, who have won eight of 11 overall, had their record-setting streak of 2-1 wins snapped. San Diego became the first team in major league history to win four straight 2-1 games on Saturday night, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Yesterday's victory gave San Diego its first four-game sweep of the Mets at home since 1980.
The pinch-hit homer was the 11th of Clark's career and first with the Padres. Clark, a San Diego high school star, signed as a free agent in the offseason.
"I was trying to keep the ball down, not elevated," Wagner said. "He put a pretty good swing on it."
It was Wagner's third blown save in 16 chances. When he entered the game, Wagner (0-1) had allowed only one earned run all season.
Clark is batting .286 as a pinch-hitter (10-for-35), but he had just three RBI before the home run.
"Finally, I made a contribution other than shaking hands at the end of the game," he said.
In other games:
* At Los Angeles, Jason Marquis took a two-hitter into the seventh inning and the Chicago Cubs extended Brad Penny's winless streak to seven starts with a 3-1 victory, salvaging a split of the four-game series with the Dodgers. Mark DeRosa was 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI, helping the Cubs finish their road trip 4-3.
* At Denver, Jeff Suppan and three relievers limited Colorado to six hits as Milwaukee held off the Rockies, 3-2.
* At Houston, St. Louis' Brendan Ryan hit a two-run single to cap a comeback fueled by two Houston errors and St. Louis beat the Astros, 5-4. Kyle Lohse (7-2) gave up a three-run homer to Lance Berkman, but otherwise pitched six strong innings to beat Houston for the third time this season.
* At Pittsburgh, Jason Bay's two-run double finished off a five-run fourth inning for the Pirates, who shook off Mark Reynolds' two home runs to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks for the first time in their weekend series, 6-4.
* At Washington, Barry Zito earned his second win of the season and Ray Durham finished with four hits, leading the San Francisco Giants past the Nationals, 6-3.
* At Miami, Hanley Ramirez homered twice and Ryan Tucker pitched five effective innings to win in his major league debut, leading the Marlins past the Reds, 9-2. Cincinnati's Ken Griffey Jr. remained one home run shy of becoming the sixth player to reach 600 for a career after going 0-for-1 with two walks before being replaced in the middle of the seventh. *