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N.Y. Mets (68-56) «0201010004101
Pittsburgh (55-69)000000000032

Santana toys with Pirates, tosses three-hitter for hot Mets

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Johan Santana's goal was to give the struggling New York Mets bullpen a break.

Turned out, those relievers got the entire day off.

Santana pitched a three-hitter for his fifth career shutout and the streaking Mets got home runs from Brian Schneider and Carlos Beltran in a 4-0 victory Sunday over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"I was very aggressive throwing the first pitch for strikes," said Santana, who got ahead in the count on 26 of 31 hitters. "That allowed me to go out there for the ninth. I was just doing my job."

Argenis Reyes added three hits for the Mets, who have won six straight and 10 of 13. New York began the day leading the NL East by two games over Philadelphia, scheduled to play later at San Diego.

Santana (11-7) retired his first 10 hitters before Jack Wilson singled and Freddy Sanchez reached on an error in the fourth. Wilson had two hits for the Pirates, who have dropped four straight and seven of nine.

Santana threw 85 of 113 pitches for strikes en route to his eighth career complete game and second this season. His previous shutout was June 19, 2007, when he blanked the Mets for Minnesota.

"He's one of the best pitchers in baseball," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "That's what he's capable of doing."

The left-hander was at 108 pitches through eight innings and had no thoughts about coming out of the game.

"He was adamant about going back out there, which is always a good thing," New York manager Jerry Manuel said. "If you can, you like to reward."

The Mets, who acquired reliever Luis Ayala from Washington before the game for a player to be named, didn't need to rely on their shaky bullpen, which had trouble nailing down wins in the first two games of the series without injured closer Billy Wagner.

Santana's third career three-hitter gave the Mets six consecutive road victories for the first time since 2001. The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner struck out seven, including Adam LaRoche three times, and didn't walk a hitter.

That continued a strong run by New York starters, who are 6-0 with a 1.51 ERA in their past seven games.

The Mets, who will go for a four-game sweep on Monday, have fashioned their winning streak on the road against the Pirates and Nationals, two teams at the bottom of the standings.

Manuel said that shouldn't diminish the accomplishment.

"We're playing good baseball and getting good pitching," he said. "We're executing, for the most part, in different facets of the game. Those are still things you must do, no matter who you're playing. These are games you would like to win, but it's baseball, so you never know."

New York went ahead early against Pittsburgh for the third game in a row.

Daniel Murphy drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the second against Jeff Karstens (2-2). After Fernando Tatis struck out, Schneider hit his fourth home run into the right-field seats.

Schneider's two-out RBI single down the right-field line in the fourth scored Beltran from first after he was running on the pitch. The three RBI were the catcher's first in 44 career at-bats at PNC Park.

"Hitting in front of Johan, I didn't think I would get too many chances," Schneider said. "But I got some pitches to hit."

Beltran homered leading off the sixth.

Karstens went six innings, allowing four runs and nine hits. The right-hander has allowed two home runs in each of his past two outings.

"I made some bad pitches, and they hit them," Karstens said. "I expect better from myself."

Pirates left fielder Brandon Moss left in the seventh after spraining his left ankle while trying to break from the batter's box on a groundout. He was helped off the field by trainers.

Tests were negative, and Moss said his ankle was feeling better after the game. He will be evaluated further on Monday.

Notes

  • New York 3B David Wright was given the day off. Wright, who missed his second game this season, is hitting .367 (18-for-49) during his current 11-game hitting streak.
  • Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said Zach Duke will remain in the starting rotation despite the left-hander's 0-5 record with a 7.97 ERA in six second-half starts. "He's now going through a tough stretch," Huntington said. "We're going to try to work through it with him."
  • The Pirates allowed a runner to reach base in the first inning for the 10th consecutive game.
  • Pittsburgh turned two double plays, giving the Pirates 27 in their past 16 games.
  • Pirates 3B Andy LaRoche committed two errors.
  • Pirates closer Matt Capps (right shoulder bursitis) pitched 1 2/3 innings and walked three batters in a rehab appearance for Triple-A Indianapolis. There is no timetable for his return.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Johan Santana (left) is in a good mood after his fifth career shutout and shows it with Pedro Martinez.  (AP)
Johan Santana (left) is in a good mood after his fifth career shutout and shows it with Pedro Martinez. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

B. Schneider
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
New York

J. Santana
IP 9.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 0
K 7
 
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5010000 .304
Argenis Reyes, 2B4030000 .280
Damion Easley, 3B5010003 .265
Carlos Delgado, 1B4000114 .257
Carlos Beltran, CF4221013 .272
Daniel Murphy, LF3110101 .415
    Endy Chavez, LF0000000 .272
Fernando Tatis, RF4000025 .296
Brian Schneider, C3123100 .259
Johan Santana, P4000015 .140
Totals36410435  
Batting
HR - Carlos Beltran (17, Karstens), Brian Schneider (4, Karstens)
SH - Argenis Reyes (3)
RBI - Carlos Beltran (82), Brian Schneider 3 (25)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Schneider (9)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Jose Reyes (14, Misplayed grounder)
New York Mets
Johan Santana (W,11-7) 9300070 2.75
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 113-85
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 9-12
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 31
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF4000000 .277
Jack Wilson, SS4020000 .285
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4000011 .253
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000032 .264
Andy LaRoche, 3B3010002 .202
Brandon Moss, LF3000000 .252
    Steve Pearce, RF0000000 .216
Jason Michaels, RF-LF3000011 .231
Raul Chavez, C3000010 .221
Jeff Karstens, P1000000 .286
   a- Chris Gomez, PH1000000 .291
    T.J. Beam, P0000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .333
   b- Doug Mientkiewicz, PH1000010 .285
    Craig Hansen, P0000000 .000
Totals3103007  
a-flied out for Karstens in the 6th
b-struck out for Burnett in the 8th
Fielding
DP - J. Wilson-F. Sanchez-LaRoche, J. Wilson-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
E - Andy LaRoche 2 (5, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jeff Karstens (L,2-2) 6944132 2.25
T.J. Beam 1.2100110 4.18
Sean Burnett 0.1000110 4.14
Craig Hansen 1000000 5.06
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 95-66, T.J. Beam 25-17, Sean Burnett 12-5, Craig Hansen 19-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 5-9, T.J. Beam 2-2, Craig Hansen 4-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 27, T.J. Beam 7, Sean Burnett 2, Craig Hansen 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36483
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano