Series: Game 3 of 3

San Diego won 3-0

Game 1: Tuesday, August 13
San Diego 7Final
New York 2
Game 2: Wednesday, August 14
San Diego 6Final
New York 2
Game 3: Thursday, August 15
San Diego 5Final
New York 3

Padres 5

(51-69, 20-40 away)

Mets 3

(58-62, 30-31 home)

    12:10 PM ET, August 15, 2002

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    SD 000140000 5 - -
    NYM 000100020 3 - -

    W: B. Tomko (6-8)

    L: J. Thomson (7-10)

    S: T. Hoffman (31)

    Mets match longest home skid in 22 years

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The boos started when Vance Wilson threw a ball into right field. They kept going when Mo Vaughn misplayed a grounder and Ty Wiggington lost a popup in the sun -- all in an excruciating fifth inning.

    New York Mets fans haven't seen a stretch this bad in 22 years and didn't mind letting the team know about it.

    Tom Lampkin had three hits and two RBI as the San Diego Padres capitalized on the Mets' sloppy play to extend New York's longest home losing streak since 1980 with a 5-3 victory Thursday.

    "The fifth inning stunk,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "I don't want to think about that. We threw one away, missed a grounder and blew a popup. That can't happen.

    "I don't think it was lack of concentration. I don't know what it was.''

    The Mets have lost five straight overall and eight in a row at Shea Stadium, falling a season-high four games below .500. It's New York's longest losing streak at home since the Mets dropped eight straight in August 1980 on the way to a 67-95 season.

    That team had few expectations, unlike this year's $95 million version, which many fans thought would compete for a playoff berth. Instead, the Mets are in sixth place in the wild card standings and out of the NL East race.

    "Who said things were going to be easy or perfect?'' Vaughn said. "We wanted it to, but things didn't work out that way. We just have to try to turn it around.''

    The Padres, who came into the series tied with Milwaukee for the fewest road wins in the NL with 17, swept a series at Shea Stadium for the first time since Aug. 27-29, 1996.

    "It was good to come back in here and get a sweep and play well,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We got good starting pitching all series and that's the key. The starters just did a terrific job.''

    Brett Tomko (6-8) took advantage of a lineup missing Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo to win for just the second time in 10 starts. Tomko allowed one run and six hits in six innings as the Padres improved to 4-15 in his last 19 starts.

    After the Mets scored two unearned runs with two outs in the eighth, Piazza grounded out as a pinch hitter against Brandon Villafuerte with the tying runs on base. Piazza missed the previous two games with tendinitis in his left wrist.

    Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 33 chances.

    "It was fortunate to catch them without Alfonzo and Piazza in the lineup for these three days,'' said Hoffman, who saved all three games. "That makes a big difference. We were able to work around (Roberto) Alomar and Vaughn. But with guys like that sitting behind them it's a lot tougher.''

    San Diego stranded seven runners in the first three innings before breaking through with a run in the fourth on Ryan Klesko's RBI single against John Thomson (7-10). The Padres could have had more except Gene Kingsale was caught in a rundown after straying too far off third.

    Tony Tarasco tied the game with his sixth homer of the year in the bottom half, before the Padres broke it open with the Mets' help in the fifth.

    Bubba Trammell led off with a walk and went to second when Wilson's pickoff throw went into right field for an error. Vaughn then bobbled Deivi Cruz's grounder to first for another error, putting runners on first and third.

    One out later, Lampkin hit a line drive to center field. Timo Perez broke in on the ball initially, and it sailed over his head for a two-run double.

    "I think the ball was hit harder than he thought it was,'' Valentine said. "The ball kept carrying. The ball was hit hard.''

    With two outs, Ramon Vazquez hit a popup on the infield that Wiggington lost in the sun for an RBI single, bringing the loudest boos of the inning. The Mets have a major league-worst 107 errors this season.

    "To be honest, we've been on the other end of that a lot of times,'' Bochy said. "If you put the ball in play and good things can happen.''

    Thomson, acquired from Colorado on July 31, lost his second straight start as a Met, allowing five runs -- three earned -- and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

    "I think most of it is my fault for getting behind the hitters,'' said Thomson, who is 1-7 with a 5.64 ERA in his last 13 starts.

    Game notes

    Piazza will undergo an MRI on Friday. ... Alfonzo is on the DL with a strained oblique muscle. ... Padres OF Mark Kotsay missed his third straight game because of a bruised left thumb. ... Thomson has two wins in his past 16 starts -- both against San Diego. ... The Padres won the season series 4-3 to tie the all-time series at 192. San Diego has won nine of the last 11 season series against the Mets.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press