Padres hit Scherzer and take advantage against Mets

NEW YORK (AP) — After unexpectedly thrashing Max Scherzer, the Padres have solved half the mission in the wild-card series.

Josh Bell and Manny Machado hit two of San Diego’s four homers off Scherzer, and San Diego blew out the New York Mets 7-1 on Friday night in the opener of their series.

“This is not a game you normally see Max play, so we were very lucky,” manager Bob Melvin acknowledged.

Yu Darvish shackled the Mets again, while Jurickson Profar and Trent Grisham also homered off an off-key Scherzer, who was booed in the fifth inning at Citi Field.

The three-time Cy Young winner disappointed in his first postseason start with New York, trailing 7-0, after signing a $130 million contract in December to pitch in big games like this one for his new equipment.

“Baseball can take you to the top and the bottom. This was the lowest,” Scherzer said.

San Diego needs a win in the next two days to take the best-in-three-game series and face the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the best record in the majors this season.

Blake Snell will start for the Padres in Game 2 on Saturday, possibly against Mets ace Jacob deGrom. New York had indicated that the outcome of Friday’s game would determine whether deGrom or Chris Bassitt would take the mound.

“In a three-game series, each one is monumental,” Melvin said.

For the Padres, the Dominicans Juan Soto 4-0, Machado 4-1 with a run scored and an RBI.

For the Mets, Puerto Ricans Francisco Lindor 3-0, Tomás Nido 2-0. The Dominican Starling Marte 4-2. Venezuelans Eduardo Escobar 3-2 with a run scored and an RBI, Luis Guillorme 1-0, Francisco Álvarez 1-0.

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Padres hit Scherzer and take advantage against Mets