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Chicago at New York

Scoreboard
Chi. Cubs (95-60)011000000291
N.Y. Mets (86-70) «00002400x690

Santana uses arm, bat to propel Mets past Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- The New York Mets needed a break, and Johan Santana's bat shattered just in time.

Santana sparked the Mets' offense with an unusual broken-bat infield single and struck out 10 in eight innings, leading New York to a much-needed 6-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

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Santana gives Mets their money's worth in crunch time
by Danny Knobler
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"It should count for two hits," said Santana, whose fifth-inning bouncer hit a piece of his cracked maple bat twice and set up New York's rally. "I was just lucky."

Jose Reyes had a three-run triple for his 200th hit of the season and David Wright drove in two runs with a clutch single for the Mets, who ended a three-game skid reminiscent of last season's epic collapse.

"That's one of the biggest wins of the season for us," Reyes said.

New York remained one game in front of Milwaukee, which beat Pittsburgh 7-5, in the wild-card race and moved within 1½ games of NL East-leading Philadelphia, which lost 3-2 to Atlanta. The Phillies won the division title last year after the Mets blew a seven-game lead with 17 to play.

New York acquired Santana (15-7) in the offseason for situations like Tuesday night, and the left-hander delivered a sharp performance. He allowed two runs and seven hits to improve to 8-0 with a 2.26 ERA in his last 16 starts.

"Every big game that we needed in Johan's turn (he) was filthy," manager Jerry Manuel said. "He stepped up. He stepped up big tonight."

Santana, glowering at plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after some close throws, tossed a career-high 125 pitches. It was the highest total for a Mets pitcher since Orlando Hernandez threw 130 on Aug. 14, 2007, at Pittsburgh.

"I didn't even know I had that many pitches, to be honest to you," Santana said. "All the intensity in the game and everything that we went through, I was just out there trying to help."

Reed Johnson and Kosuke Fukudome both had two hits for Chicago, which secured home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs with its 9-5 victory over New York on Monday night.

The Cubs put two runners on in the ninth against Pedro Feliciano but Luis Ayala came in and got two outs for his ninth save.

Santana's wacky hit got the Mets back on track after they struggled for much of the game against Sean Marshall, who worked out of a jam in the first and retired 12 of 13 before running into trouble in the fifth.

With one out, Marshall plunked Nick Evans and Santana followed with a grounder up the middle. Marshall eluded a piece of Santana's bat but the ball got past him and kicked off the broken wood, bouncing off the glove of shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

"I was trying to track the ball but the bat kind of caught my attention and I don't know if the ball hit the bat twice -- it hit it in front of me and then hit it back there with Ronny," Marshall said. "But it definitely was a tough play to make for both of us."

Cubs manager Lou Piniella couldn't believe it.

"Marshall did fine," he said. "The only problem is he hits the eighth hitter. Then Santana pulls a magic bat trick. I've never seen that before."

The unlikely hit put runners on first and second and sent a charge through the Shea Stadium crowd, increasingly uneasy as the Mets struggled to score against Marshall.

Reyes struck out, but Luis Castillo walked and Wright lined a tying two-run single into left. Wright clapped his hands repeatedly after ending an 0-for-11 skid with the bases loaded.

"I've had my problems with runners in scoring position but I'm glad I could come through," he said. "It's a big at-bat for my confidence and the team."

New York added four runs in the sixth, helped by reliever Chad Gaudin's throwing error. After Carlos Delgado led off with a double, Ramon Castro hit a slow roller to the right of the mound. Gaudin (4-2) and first baseman Derrek Lee hesitated before the pitcher picked it up and threw it past Lee.

Delgado scored to give New York the lead, and Reyes' triple later in the inning made it 6-2.

Piniella rested three regulars after Monday night's big win, and two of his subs came up big.

Casey McGehee, filling in for third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and Fukudome hit consecutive doubles off Santana in the second to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Cedeno, who started at shortstop in place of Ryan Theriot, doubled and scored on Johnson's single in the third.

Notes

  • Mets RHP John Maine, on the DL since Aug. 24 with a bone spur in his right shoulder, tossed lightly before the game and hopes to be activated Wednesday. "I want to pitch," said Maine, who could be used as a reliever if he comes back this season. "It's not my call."
  • Cubs C Geovany Soto also rested, with Henry Blanco getting the start.
  • A fan ran on the field in the sixth inning and was tackled by security near third base.
  • Manuel said before the game he hasn't finalized who will start Saturday against Florida.
 
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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COMMENTS
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Broken bat, eyes closed. Johan Santana's swing looks bad, but he gets on base. (US Presswire)
Broken bat, eyes closed. Johan Santana's swing looks bad, but he gets on base. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Reyes
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
New York

J. Santana
IP 8.0
H 7
ER 2
BB 2
K 10
 
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF4000010 .283
    Angel Guzman, P0000000 .000
   a- Koyie Hill, PH0000000 .167
   b- Mike Fontenot, PH1000000 .287
Ronny Cedeno, SS4110020 .276
   c- Daryle Ward, PH1000002 .221
Derrek Lee, 1B4010011 .292
Reed Johnson, CF3021101 .306
Mark DeRosa, 2B3000102 .283
Casey McGehee, 3B4110013 .231
Kosuke Fukudome, RF4021001 .261
Henry Blanco, C4010022 .279
Sean Marshall, P2000022 .333
    Chad Gaudin, P0000000 .000
    Kevin Hart, P0000000 .000
   d- Micah Hoffpauir, PH-LF2010010 .321
Totals36292210  
a-announced for Guzman in the 9th
b-grounded out for Hill in the 9th
c-popped out for Cedeno in the 9th
d-struck out for Hart in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ronny Cedeno (12, Santana), Derrek Lee (40, Santana), Casey McGehee (1, Santana), Kosuke Fukudome (25, Santana)
RBI - Reed Johnson (49), Kosuke Fukudome (56)
2-OUT RBI - Reed Johnson (16)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Chad Gaudin (5, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Sean Marshall 5422270 3.62
Chad Gaudin (L,9-5) 0.1444000 4.23
Kevin Hart 0.2100010 7.13
Angel Guzman 2000330 7.04
HBP - Evans (by Sean Marshall)
Pitches-Strikes - Sean Marshall 71-46, Chad Gaudin 16-12, Kevin Hart 9-6, Angel Guzman 33-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sean Marshall 2-6, Chad Gaudin 1-0, Kevin Hart 1-0, Angel Guzman 1-2
Batters Faced - Sean Marshall 22, Chad Gaudin 5, Kevin Hart 3, Angel Guzman 9
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4023112 .300
Luis Castillo, 2B4000114 .246
David Wright, 3B4022113 .300
Carlos Beltran, CF4000015 .280
Carlos Delgado, 1B3110123 .273
Ramon Castro, C4010022 .248
Ryan Church, RF4110011 .281
Nick Evans, LF1100000 .264
   a- Daniel Murphy, PH-LF1110100 .342
    Endy Chavez, LF0000000 .269
Johan Santana, P3210013 .147
   b- Argenis Reyes, PH1000011 .215
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
Totals33695511  
a-singled for Evans in the 6th
b-struck out for Santana in the 8th
Batting
2B - Carlos Delgado (31, Gaudin)
3B - Jose Reyes (19, Hart)
RBI - Jose Reyes 3 (67), David Wright 2 (122)
2-OUT RBI - David Wright 2 (50)
Team LOB - 9
New York Mets
Johan Santana (W,15-7) 87222100 2.64
Pedro Feliciano 0.1200000 4.08
Luis Ayala (S,9) 0.2000000 5.47
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 125-86, Pedro Feliciano 13-7, Luis Ayala 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 3-11, Luis Ayala 1-1
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 33, Pedro Feliciano 3, Luis Ayala 2
Game Information
Attendance - 50615
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Randy Marsh