Mets 5 Orioles 0
- Last Updated: 2:43 PM, June 20, 2012
- Posted: 12:47 AM, June 20, 2012
Johan Santana channeled his inner R.A. Dickey last night and delivered the opposition an alternate flavor of knuckle sandwich.
The march of zeroes continued with Santana’s six shutout innings — followed by three from the bullpen, making it 22 straight scoreless frames by Mets pitchers — leading a 5-0 pasting of the Orioles at Citi Field.
After bombing in his previous two starts following his June 1 no-hitter, Santana bolstered the notion the Mets have maybe the best 1-2 pitching combination in the National League.
Dickey has gone 42 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run and Santana has pitched 24 consecutive scoreless innings at home. Santana (5-3, 3.00 ERA) remains a contender for a spot on the NL All-Star team, alongside Dickey.
“Overall we have been doing great things,” Santana said. “R.A. is doing an incredible job, and he’s making history and that is always good. I’m just trying to follow up and do my job, hoping we get to that routine or in that groove where we give the team a chance. That’s the most important thing.
“I had enough — just enough to win this ballgame and to help out. We still have a way to go in putting things together, but I think overall I felt good and we were able to win the game.”
Most of the suspense ended in the seventh, when Jordany Valdespin’s two-run single off Dana Eveland gave the Mets a 5-0 lead. The victory was the second straight for the Mets (37-32), who have won five consecutive interleague games after getting swept by the Yankees earlier this month.
“[Santana and Dickey] just have to continue to be themselves and we’ll be fine,” Lucas Duda said.
A healthy dose of Dudaism in the sixth gave the Mets a cushion. Duda’s two-run homer made it 3-0 and gave the bullpen breathing room. The homer was Duda’s 11th of the season, extending his team lead.
Santana’s last act was escaping a jam in the sixth, when Mark Reynolds popped out with two runners aboard on the lefty’s 101st pitch of the night. Santana’s final line included four hits allowed and two walks with five strikeouts.
“I’m telling you: That no-hitter took it out of him — that and everything that comes with it,” manager Terry Collins said. “Then the next start he faced the Yankees and it’s all the hoopla, and I’m not sure the adrenaline didn’t wipe him out for a week, but I thought he was much sharper today.”
The Mets loaded the bases in the fourth and took a 1-0 lead on Daniel Murphy’s RBI ground out. David Wright and Duda singled in succession against Tommy Hunter (3-4) before Ike Davis walked to load the bases with one out. Murphy followed with a shot to first that Reynolds gloved and turned into the second out, with the run scoring.
Santana escaped a jam in the fourth by striking out Reynolds and Steve Pearce in succession after the Orioles had put runners on second and third with one out.
Collins said the fact Santana watched video of his no-hitter against the Cardinals before this start may have helped.
“He had much better stuff today — life to his fastball, his breaking ball had much better depth to it. His changeup has always been a good pitch, but he had much better command to it,” Collins said.
“It was a big night. I think he’s back doing what he’s got to do and we’re going to see a lot of nights like tonight where we’re going to see some zeroes on the board when he’s out there.”