SAN DIEGO — The shackles were further removed from Jacob deGrom on Saturday, allowing him to pitch the deepest into the night he had ventured in nearly six weeks.
Unfettered, the Mets ace took an imposing Padres lineup and treated it just like all of the others, sending his already unfathomable ERA downward.
DeGrom’s seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts, and homers from Jose Peraza and Francisco Lindor helped the Mets end a two-game skid with a 4-0 victory at Petco Park.
After team officials limited deGrom to 63 and 70 pitches in his previous two starts, following an injured list stint for right side tightness, he was allowed to remain on the mound for 85 pitches in this one. The seven-inning outing was his longest since April 23 against the Nationals. It was deGrom’s MLB-record ninth straight start to begin the season in which he allowed one earned run or fewer, and his ERA dropped from 0.71 to 0.62.
The Mets (28-23) will try for a split in the four-game series on Sunday. They are 3-3 on the road trip, which will extend to two games in Baltimore after they depart Southern California.
Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Wil Myers whiffed to begin the seventh, giving deGrom the 50th double-digit strikeout game of his career and fourth this season. Victor Caratini struck out to end the inning, running that total to 11.
DeGrom still had his triple-digit heat in the sixth inning when he struck out Manny Machado on a 100-mph fastball to begin the frame. Fernando Tatis Jr. walked with two outs in the inning and stole second, before Eric Hosmer whiffed on a slider for deGrom’s eighth strikeout.
Peraza smacked a hanging breaking ball from Joe Musgrove into the left-field seats in the fifth. The blast put the Mets ahead 1-0 and gave them their first lead in the series. Peraza’s homer was his third of the season, as he continues in an everyday role with the Mets short on infielders.
Before the inning was over, the Mets struck with another blast: Lindor swatted a hanging breaking ball over the right-field fence for his fifth homer. The sizzling Lindor extended his hitting streak to eight games, during which he has homered twice. Lindor finished the night with two hits.
Jonathan Villar, who missed a third straight start with right hamstring tightness, came off the bench in the sixth to deliver a pinch-hit RBI single that extended the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Kevin Pillar and Tomas Nido singled in succession to begin the rally before Villar pinch-hit for Travis Blankenhorn and singled against lefty reliever Tim Hill.
Pillar drove in the Mets’ final run with a single in the ninth, after Lindor had doubled in the inning and Dominic Smith walked.
Musgrove, who earlier this season pitched the first no-hitter in Padres history, lasted five innings-plus and allowed three earned runs on eight hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
The Padres loaded the bases against deGrom in the fourth, but departed empty handed. After Jake Cronenworth singled to begin the rally, Lindor booted Tatis Jr.’s grounder for an error and Hosmer’s bloop single to left loaded the bases. DeGrom went to a full count on Tucupita Marcano before getting him to chase a slider, ending the inning.
Tatis Jr. delivered an opposite-field double leading off the second, but was left stranded as deGrom retired the next three batters.