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Padres drop fourth in a row

NEW YORK (AP) -- Whether it was the lack of a killer instinct or
the absence of a closeout mentality, there had been a void in the
New York Mets' season of mediocrity that rubbed manager Willie
Randolph the wrong way.

Seven times over the first 94 games the Mets had a chance to
finish off a sweep. Only twice had they done it, a failure rate
that left Randolph wondering whether his team was actually
"feeling sorry" for its opponents.

The only ones doubting themselves Thursday were the San Diego
Padres.

David Wright singled and doubled during a seven-run sixth
inning, and the New York Mets roughed up All-Star Jake Peavy in a
12-0 victory Thursday that completed a three-game sweep of the NL
West-leading Padres.

"What I liked about today, more than anything, was that we
finished a team off," Randolph said. "We came out today
understanding that we needed to win."

The victory moved New York (49-46) three games over .500 for the
first time since June 8, and its lopsided nature -- especially
against a quality opponent -- left the Mets feeling a little extra
good about themselves.

New York moved past Philadelphia into third place in the NL
East, inching a bit closer to the two teams at the top of the
division -- Washington and Atlanta -- while improving to 5-2 on a
10-game homestand that concludes this weekend against the Los
Angeles Dodgers.

"We've got to make a statement in the division, and we're in a
position where we can't wait any longer," Randolph said. "We can
still made some serious hay in the division."

"Four [consecutive wins] is nice, but we've got to be able to
do better than that," Randolph said.

San Diego lost its fourth in a row, one shy of its longest skid
of the season.

"That's as cold as we've been with the bats this year," Padres
manager Bruce Bochy said. "An ugly series, it started out bad and
got worse today. We know it was ugly, and we got embarrassed."

Wright became the first member of the Mets to have two hits in
an inning this season, and Kazuhisa Ishii (3-8) won at home for the
first time since the Mets acquired him from Los Angeles during
spring training.

Jose Reyes had three singles, scored twice, drove in two runs
and stole his 31st base, tying Atlanta's Rafael Furcal for the
league lead. Doug Mientkiewicz homered and drove in two runs and
Ramon Castro hit a two-run homer for the Mets.

The Mets' seven hits and seven runs in the sixth inning both
tied season highs. The combined shutout by four pitchers was their
fifth of the season -- the first since May 27 against Florida.

Castro's homer with one out in the fifth inning made it 3-0 and
began an offensive flurry.

Ishii walked and went to third on Reyes' single, then scored
when Reyes stole second and catcher Robert Fick's throw went into
center field. Mike Cameron's double scored Reyes to make it 5-0.

Peavy (8-4) got out of the fifth by retiring Carlos Beltran and
Cliff Floyd, but the Mets finished him off in the sixth before
turning it into a blowout against reliever Paul Quantrill while
sending 11 batters to the plate in the inning.

"I made some terrible pitch selections, especially in that
inning when it started to come apart," Peavy said. "Once the hits
started coming, they just kept coming."

Ishii shook off some early control problems and pitched well
from the set position, allowing four hits and five walks in six
innings for just his second victory in his last eight starts.
Dae-Sung Koo, Heath Bell and Danny Graves finished up the shutout,
holding San Diego to two hits over the final three innings.

"It wouldn't have made any difference which park we played
in," Bochy said. "We could have played in Williamsport today and
still made it look ugly."

Game notes
Peavy entered the game with a 3-0 record in five career
starts against the Mets, having allowed only eight earned runs in
33 innings. New York scored seven earned runs against him Thursday.
... Padres OF Brian Giles walked twice, raising his major
league-leading total to 77. He reached base safely for the 19th
consecutive game. ... The teams meet again for the final time this
season Aug. 9-11 in San Diego.