in Arizona with a depleted bullpen and a resting Pete Alonso, the Mets crawled back but couldn’t quite catch up with the Padres, who took the series opener 4-3 Thursday night in San Diego.Choose your recap: Amazin’ Avenue short, Daily News, MLB.com, Newsday, PostFernando Tatís Jr. returned from injury and retook the major league home run lead with his two-run shot in the third inning. The ball bounced out of center fielder Mason Williams’s glove and over the wall to open the scoring.Tatís also scored what would be the game-winning run advancing home on a Taijuan Walker wild pitch that included a violent collision at the plate. Billy McKinney came within inches of tying the game in the top of the eighth inning with an RBI triple to right field. A hustle play by Manny Machado likely prevented McKinney from recording a game-tying inside-the-park home run.Padres closer Mark Melancon let the first two runners on in the top of the ninth , and then forced consecutive ground balls to record the final three outs of the game. This loss begins what is so far the toughest stretch of the Mets’ schedule. Joey Lucchesi will be starting tonight against his former team, and he vocalized a wish to strike out every single batter. Jacob deGrom is scheduled to start on Saturday and Marcus Stroman on Sunday. Jonathan Villar’s hamstring injury does not appear to be serious as the Mets chose not to place him on the injured list. Both Cameron Maybin and Wilfredo Tovar cleared waivers before reporting to Syracuse . Luis Guillorme would have begun his rehab assignment in Syracuse yesterday had rain not postponed the game. Deesha Thosar praised the surprisingly stellar Mets bullpen. SNY’s John Harper spoke with Kevin Pillar’s former teammates at Chaminade High School and Cal State Dominguez Hills in Southern California. Mets tickets for a more widely-opened Citi Field go on sale this Saturday at 10 AM. Around the National League EastA four-run sixth inning propelled the Braves to a 5-1 win over the Nationals in Cobb County. The Marlins blew another lead as the Pirates beat them 5-3 in Pittsburgh. The Phillies, who have lost 10 of 13 games yet remain in second place in the division, had the day off. The Good Phight argued in favor of not panicking. Around Major League BaseballThe Brewers beat the Diamondbacks 7-4 in Milwaukee. Christian Yelich hit his first home run in front of home fans since 2019. Notably absent from the Diamondbacks broadcast was former manager and color commentator Bob Brenly, who will be stepping away from the booth for the duration of the team’s road trip after making a racist comment on the air about Marcus Stroman on Tuesday. Former major leaguer Aramis Ramirez voiced antipathy for Brenly because of what he believes to be racist comments directed towards Ramirez during their time in Chicago.Jesse Winker hit his 14th home run of the season as the Reds beat the Cardinals 4-2. The Rays continued their surge with a 9-2 win over the Yankees in The Bronx . The Red Sox kept pace with the first-place Rays with a 5-1 win over the Astros in Houston. MLB released its All-Star ballot, marketing the current winnowing down of candidates as “Phase 1,” with a “Phase 2” selection of starters to take place between June 28th and July 1st. The New York Times investigated the dramatic rise in soft-tissue injuries so far this season. MLB will look to punish pitchers who use illegal substances after being presented with evidence of rampant use during an owner's meeting.The crackdown has already begun with four minor-league pitchers suspended with sticky fingers. Travis Sawchick experimented with sticky stuff in his latest report for The Score. Yesterday at Amazin’ AvenueBrian resumed his very serious weekly analysis on two key players in the Mets organization. Vas previewed the ongoing series against the Padres. This Date in Mets HistoryDave Kingman supplied a team’s worth of run support by hitting three home runs for eight RBI against the Dodgers on this date 45 years ago. It was plenty for Tom Seaver, who didn’t give up a run as the Mets won 11-0.