It was a different night but the same story for the Mets and the Baltimore Orioles. The Mets got another sterling performance from a starting pitcher who was previously thought to be washed up, and the offense was boosted by a home run from a left-handed slugger. Even the score was the same as Monday night, as the Mets defeated Baltimore once again by the score of 5-0.
Johan Santana stymied the O’s for six innings in before handing the game over to the bullpen. Although Santana had no trouble through the first three innings, trouble hit in the fourth when Baltimore put runners on second and third with one out after Matt Wieters’ second double of the game. That turned out to be no problem for Johan, who struck out Mark Reynolds and Steve Pearce to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Mets broke through against Orioles starter Tommy Hunter, who was also cruising along through the first three frames. David Wright and Lucas Duda each hit one-out singles, and Ike Davis drew a walk to load the bases. That set the table for Daniel Murphy, who ripped a sharp grounder down the first base line, which would have been a double if not for a spectacular diving stop by Reynolds. The out was made at first, but Duda came in to score with the only run the Mets would need.
New York got more comfortable in the sixth when Duda lifted a long fly ball to right field that carried over the wall in front of the Mo’s Zone. With Jordanny Valdespin aboard, that made the score 3-0 Mets. Two more runs were tacked on in the seventh on a clutch Valdespin single, and scoreless innings were pitched by each of Bobby Parnell, Miguel Batista and Jon Rauch.
Turning point: When Santana worked his way out of trouble in the fourth, you got the feeling that he might not be allowing any runs this evening. Of course, that might not have mattered had Murphy not knocked in a run in the bottom of the inning.
Game ball: Santana was having a rough go of it ever since his 134-pitch no-hitter on June 1. Tonight’s gem will hopefully put to rest worries that the epic night ruined his arm.
Next game: The Mets go for the sweep of Baltimore tomorrow night when Dillon Gee takes the hill opposite lefty Brian Matusz.