SAN DIEGO -- Jacob deGrom is in a groove, proving he deserves to be mentioned among the game's top pitchers.
DeGrom (12-3) struck out the first four batters he faced, and he limited the Padres to two runs and five hits. He walked two and finished with eight strikeouts as he won a career-high eighth consecutive start.
"He's as good as anyone in the league when he is on, and he was on," Padres manager Andy Green said. "That includes (Clayton) Kershaw and (Max) Scherzer."
Addison Reed handled the ninth for his 17th save. However, the Padres brought the go-ahead run to the plate after Reed gave up rookie Hunter Renfroe's second homer of the game, which got the Padres within 5-3.
Manuel Margot and Hector Sanchez singled with one out. Pinch hitter Jabari Blash nearly hit a game-winning homer, but the ball tailed just foul down the right field line.
"When I saw it go up in the air, I said, 'I got him,"' said Blash, who would strike out. "Then you saw it starting to fade."
Matt Szczur then lined out to right field to end the game.
Jose Reyes stole his 500th career base after an eighth-inning single and scored on Travis d'Arnaud's single for a 5-1 edge as the Mets won for the fifth time in six games.
During deGrom's win streak, which dates to June 12, he has a 1.61 ERA with 58 strikeouts against 12 walks. He has pitched at least eight innings in five of the eight starts.
"I think it's just the command," deGrom said of his hot stretch. "I've been able to throw my fastball to both sides of the plate and just work off that. I think that's what helped me with success in 2015, being able to locate my fastball and pitch off that.
"I tried to stay out there as long as I can. I want to pitch into the ninth every game."
Mets manager Terry Collins sees a focused deGrom.
"The thing that stands out the most is his competitiveness," he said. "This guy just doesn't give in. With his stuff and his command, he's going to win a lot of games."
San Diego starter Clayton Richard (5-11) worked eight innings, surrendering five runs, 12 hits and two walks, both intentional. He fanned eight. Richard lost his third consecutive start and fourth decision in a row.
"We made some adjustments and ironed some things out," said Richard, who gave up a season-high 11 runs and 14 hits in his previous outing. "It was a good step in the right direction."
Carlos Asuaje's two-out RBI double in the eighth sliced the Padres' deficit to 5-2.
Renfroe's massive homer in the seventh drew the Padres to within 4-1. Renfroe's 431-foot blast landed on top of the Western Metal Supply Co. building. When Renfroe was called up last September, he hit the first ball to reach that level.
"He clearly has that kind of pop," Green said. "I was more impressed with his second one as he used the middle of the field."
Flores smacked a home run in the second for a 1-0 lead. Richard tried to fool the second baseman with a changeup, and Flores redirected it 401 feet for his 10th homer of the year.
The Mets' advantage grew to 3-0 in the third inning.
Yoenis Cespedes, who had three home runs in four games at Petco last year, hit a line-drive triple off the center field fence. That sent home Cabrera, who had led off with a single. Bruce brought in Cespedes with a single to right.
Bruce got his second RBI of the night and his team-high 67th when he singled in Michael Conforto in the fifth. That pushed the Mets ahead 4-0. It could have been more save a leaping catch by Renfroe in right field on Flores' long drive with two runners aboard.
NOTES: The Padres traded RHP Brandon Maurer, RHP Trevor Cahill and LHP Ryan Buchter to the Kansas City Royals for RHP Matt Strahm, LHP Travis Wood and a minor league infielder. ... San Diego INF Erick Aybar is out to until mid-September with a broken foot. ... The Padres called up INF Dusty Coleman from Triple-A El Paso and RHP Jose Ruiz from Class A Lake Elsinore. ... Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (stress reaction in right arm) was placed on the disabled list. New York recalled RHP Tyler Pill from Triple-A Las Vegas.