Cordero, Villanueva, Hedges power Padres past Mets 12-2
The 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic hit a three-run homer estimated at 453 feet and Christian Villanueva added a two-run shot to back their fellow rookie Joey Lucchesi as the Padres roughed up Jason Vargas and the New York Mets 12-2 on Saturday night.
Cordero drove a ball deep into the seats in right-center field with two outs in the fourth inning to give the Padres a 9-0 lead and chase Vargas. It was his sixth overall and his third homer of more than 450 feet, the most in the big leagues this year.
”I honestly don’t know how to describe that. I just sort of put my best swing on the ball and you see the results,” Cordero said through an interpreter.
Cordero said he’s not even swinging at 100 percent.
”It wasn’t, honestly. When I try to swing 100 percent my body goes with it and I end up rolling the ball over. That’s not what I was trying to do. I was trying to put my best swing on the ball.”
Cordero hit a 489-foot homer at Arizona on April 20.
”It’s fun watching rookies play well. In Franchy’s case, it’s an electric skill set for a 23-year-old. He’s got a lot of opportunity out in front of him to do really special things in the game. He’s wired to compete and he’s wired to keep working to get better. Obviously he’s got some things to work on but man he’s a lot of fun to watch.”
Villanueva extended his hitting streak to 11 games hit a two-run homer to left-center with one out in the first, his eighth. He was robbed of another two-run shot when Juan Lagares made a nice leaping catch against the fence in left-center.
”In the case of the two guys who are crushing baseballs right now, It’s clearly real power,” Green said. ”In Franchy’s case, I’ve never seen a ball go up there where he hit that one today. And you seem to say that with Franchy every other day so it’s a lot of fun saying that. He hits balls no one else hits.”
Lucchesi (3-1) limited the Mets to four hits in 5 2-3 innings while striking out six and walking two. The lefty exited two batters after surrendering a two-run homer by Yoenis Cespedes that sailed into the Padres’ bullpen beyond the fence in center field.
”It’s fun to watch those three. They deserve whatever conversation they’re in,” Green said. ”We’ll see as time unfolds how big a part they’re going to play in us doing something special here.”
Austin Hedges drove in a career-high five runs. The light-hitting catcher came up big with a two-run single in the third, a two-run double in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth. He raised his average from .143 to .176.
Vargas (0-1) had a rough season debut five weeks after breaking a bone in his glove hand in spring training. He allowed nine runs and nine hits, four for extra bases, in 3 2-3 innings.
Vargas tied for the major league lead with 18 wins last year with Kansas City.
”I just wasn’t very good tonight,” he said. ”I made some mistakes early, got behind, and got them into some situations where they felt good swinging the bat. It just kept rolling from there. I wasn’t able to put some guys away with two strikes or two outs. Just kept letting them extend innings. Anytime you do that you’re really going to put your team behind the eight ball. It was a real grind and guys had to really force the issue in the batter’s box.”
Said manager Mickey Callaway: ”He just left too many pitches in the middle, didn’t get the ball to where he wanted it to go.”
Manuel Margot hit a two-run triple in the first.
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-1, 4.24) is scheduled to start the series finale. He’s 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three career starts against the Padres.
Padres: RHP Bryan Mitchell (0-2, 5.76) is still looking for his first win with the Padres. This will be his sixth start, fourth at home.