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Padres crash opening night party at Citi Field

THE San Diego Padres spoiled the opening night party at the New York Mets' brand new Citi Field stadium by edging out the home team 6-5 on Monday.

The Padres benefited from a three-base fielding error in the sixth when right-fielder Ryan Church failed to catch a fly ball from Luis Rodriguez, who went on to score the go-ahead run when Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano balked him home.

Shortly before, New York had appeared on the brink of a rousing come-from-behind victory after third baseman David Wright slugged a three-run homer in the fifth to knot the score at 5-5.

Former Mets relievers Duaner Sanchez and Heath Bell put the finishing touch on San Diego's win, retiring the last six hitters as Bell registered his fourth save of the new season.

A crowd of 41,000 attended the opener, which began after Mets' Hall of Famer Tom Seaver threw the ceremonial opening pitch to Mike Piazza, their former star catcher.

"We'd have liked to have gotten it behind us with a win," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.

However, Manuel was more worried about the ineffectiveness of Mets starter Mike Pelfrey, who gave up eight hits and five runs in five innings.

Pelfrey fell when he lost his balance and hit the ground at the end of his windup. He was unhurt.

"We didn't see what we expected to see out of Mike Pelfrey," Manuel said. "I think that in itself is somewhat concerning more than anything else."

Padres' lead-off man Jody Gerut put his name in the record books as the first player to hit a home run at the new stadium when he connected on the third pitch of the game from Pelfrey.

In other National League games, it was: Cubs 4, Rockies 0; Dodgers 11, Giants 1; Reds 7, Brewers 6; Pirates 7, Astros 0; and Phillies 9, Nationals 8.

In the American League, it was: Rays 15, Yankees 5; Jays 8, Twins 6; Orioles 10, Rangers 9; White Sox 10, Tigers 6; Athletics 8, Red Sox 2; and Royals 4, Indians 2.


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