Santana, Mets take care of Cubs
NEW YORK (AP)
Now that's the kind of complete victory the New York Mets have been looking for this season.
"There's been a lot of ups and downs but at the same time we're learning from it,'' Santana said after the Mets' 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night. "We're making some adjustments — and it's good to see everything starting to click in.''
Jeff Francoeur broke an 0-for-24 slump with an RBI single in the Mets' four-run sixth. Ike Davis had three hits and New York took three of four from the Cubs to win its first series after dropping four in a row.
Davis and the Mets next face rookie sensation Jason Heyward and the Atlanta Braves in a three-game weekend series.
Rodriguez entered in the eighth with the bases loaded and allowed a sacrifice fly before striking out pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin to end the inning. K-Rod struck out two more in the ninth for his first save of the season and his first five-out save since July 2, 2005, with the Los Angeles Angels.
"That's the best. That situation, I always like to be in there,'' Rodriguez said. "The situation is do or die. You get it done or you get killed out there, but that's definitely the situation I always want.''
The save tied him with Mike Pelfrey for the team lead. Pelfrey, a starter who is 3-0 this season, earned his save Saturday in a 20-inning win over St. Louis.
Tom Gorzelanny (0-2) showed no ill effects from being hit by a liner in the left arm in the third inning Saturday against Houston. He didn't allow a runner until a one-out walk in the fourth and gave up his first hit - to Davis - with one out in the fifth.
"Too bad there's nine innings in a game,'' Gorzelanny said. "I've got to be able to continue doing what I had been doing, and things happened and I wasn't able to do that.''
One out after Davis' hit, Gorzelanny took a shoulder from Santana (2-1) as he was covering first on the pitcher's grounder. After the contact, Gorzelanny leaned over and put his hands on his knees for an extra moment.
The Mets then nudged through in the sixth, led by the slumping middle of the order. Jose Reyes walked and was sacrificed over by Luis Castillo. Wright, 2 for 11 on the homestand with two strikeouts entering the sixth, doubled to left for the first run. Francoeur added an RBI single, his first hit since April 16.
"I was scuffling really the last two, three days, just to get that. It'll relax me now,'' Francoeur said. "It was great to do that, to get the win like we had — Johan the way he pitched, David to get that double. I think we both needed that real bad.''
Davis followed with his second hit, ending Gorzelanny's night. James Russell walked Rod Barajas to load the bases. Mike Fontenot then failed to field Angel Pagan's chopper for an error, when he was distracted by Barajas, running past the second baseman as the ball bounced at the edge of the grass and dirt. Two runs scored to make it 4-0.
Gorzelanny gave up four hits and four runs — two earned — in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
"He deserved a lot better than that,'' Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "The line should have been a lot better.''
Santana followed up seven scoreless innings on Saturday night, an outing that was overshadowed by the final 13 innings of the Mets' 20-inning win over St. Louis, with a gritty performance.
He let the leadoff batter reach in four innings but only one scored, with help from Francoeur's fielding error in the seventh.
"When I had a situation of trying to get the guy out, I threw the right pitch and put the ball in play and the guys played pretty well behind me,'' said Santana, who threw 78 of his 103 pitches for strikes.
Geovany Soto singled to right-center to start the seventh and went to second when the ball deflected off a running Francoeur's glove for an error. He scored on Kosuke Fukudome's single that finished Santana.
The Mets left-hander gave up a run and eight hits with five strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings. He did not walk a batter.
Barajas added an RBI single in the eighth.
NOTES: Wright's double, his 225th, tied Ed Kranepool for most in Mets history. ... Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez extended his hitless series to 0 for 16 with a fielder's choice as a pinch hitter and struck out in the ninth. ... Mets 1B Mike Jacobs, designated for assignment Sunday, accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Buffalo.