Mets RHP Zack Wheeler struck out nine batters in five innings in Sunday's 14-2 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
Wheeler struck out six of the last eight batters he faced as he won his first game since April 11. His nine Ks are his most in an outing since he struck out 10 Cubs on Aug. 15, 2014.
"I thought he looked really good," manager Mickey Callaway told reporters after the game.
Wheeler labored through the first three innings before hitting a groove. He needed 30 pitches to pitch into and out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and had thrown 62 pitches through three. In total, he threw 66 of 95 pitches for strikes and allowed two runs and six hits.
"That first inning, I threw thirty-something pitches," Wheeler said. "I tried to go out there and shorten it. I only got through five today -- you want to go six or seven, if not a complete game. It's something I can build on. All my offspeed stuff was there today."
Since opening the season with seven innings of one-run ball, Wheeler has gone 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in his last three outings.
"Past couple of outings haven't been the best," Wheeler said, "but I feel I'm close to getting through and being where I want to be."