Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/8/12

NEW YORK -- Only a few innings in, the question for Johan Santana became not how many hits he would give up, but how many home runs.

Robinson Cano homered twice, and combined with Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones for three straight homers in the third inning as the New York Yankees thrashed Santana and the New York Mets, 9-1, Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

To further humble Santana and his teammates, who were attempting to take the glow of last week's no-hitter into the Subway Series opener, Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda looked like he might just pull off his own no-hitter.

While Kuroda lost his bid in the sixth inning on a double by Omar Quintanilla, the Yankees finished with a two-hitter. Cody Eppley pitched a hitless inning before Lucas Duda doubled in a run off Ryota Igarashi in the ninth to follow Kuroda's seven shutout innings.

The Yankees bashed Santana in his first start since last Friday's no-no, scoring six runs on seven hits in five innings and leaving him stunned by the barrage in the third inning.

It was the first time since last Aug. 28 the Yankees had hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. Oddly enough, Cano, Swisher and Jones achieved the feat that day as well, against the Baltimore Orioles. Cano finished with four RBI, while Swisher and Jones later added RBI hits as the Yankees tacked on three runs against reliever Elvin Ramirez.

Before the game, manager Terry Collins had finally seemed at ease with the decision to leave Santana in for 134 pitches while throwing the franchise's first no-hitter last Friday night. He joked he'd be rooting for his pitcher to offer him a similar challenging decision Friday. Collins said he was no longer concerned about the potential ill effects on Santana's surgically repaired left shoulder that led the manager to say last week he wouldn't be "feeling very good" if Santana was hurting this week.

Santana had been given two extra days' rest and reported he felt good, so that eased Collins' mind, the manager said before the game.

Regardless of how he felt, the Mets ace didn't look very good as the Yankees humbled him in the city's spotlight game after a week of celebrations for his milestone. Santana (3-3) tied a career-worst by allowing the four home runs, departing after the fifth having thrown 86 pitches, with no reason to worry about him needing to exceed any pitch limits.

Cano hit his second straight two-run homer in the third, drilling another blast to right. Swisher followed with a shot to left and Santana, coming off two straight complete game shutouts, looked on in disbelief. He was even more frustrated when Jones completed the stunning trifecta with another drive to left for a 6-0 lead.

While the Yankees quickly sapped Santana of the confidence boost he earned from last week's milestone, Kuroda nearly got one of his own.

But Quintanilla hit a clean double into left-center field over center fielder Curtis Granderson's head with two outs in the sixth to end Kuroda's no-hit bid. Kuroda (5-6) would allow just the one hit while striking out seven and walking one. He left after the seventh, when he was struck by a line drive from Daniel Murphy that ricocheted to third baseman Alex Rodriguez for the final out of the inning. Kuroda had a bruised left foot and X-rays were negative, the Yankees said.

Cano hit his first home run in the bottom of the second to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. The two-run shot to right snapped Santana's scoreless streak at 19 innings and ended his hitless string at 10.

NOTES: Yankees right-hander David Robertson (strained left oblique) was scheduled to make a rehab appearance this weekend and manager Joe Girardi said he could return by next weekend. ... Left fielder Brett Gardner (strained right elbow) was scheduled for a rehab appearance with Class A Charleston on Friday, and could return early next week, Girardi said. ... Mets left fielder Jason Bay returned to the lineup for the first time since getting activated from the disabled list Wednesday. He batted eighth as manager Terry Collins wanted to let him get comfortable in his return before putting pressure on him to bat in the middle of the lineup following Bay's recent illness, he said. ... Right-hander Chris Young was activated from paternity leave. The Mets demoted Pedro Beato (2-1, 4.30 ERA) to Class AAA Buffalo to make room. ... Quintanilla said he has a small fracture on his left index finger, which affects his hitting more than his fielding, but he remained in the lineup. ... The Mets signed first-round draft pick Gavin Cecchini to a reported $2.3 million deal.

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