Santana strikes out 10, Mets edge Phillies 1-0

May 7, 2009 7:22:23 PM PDT
One run is all it takes for Johan Santana to win these days. Good thing for the New York Mets, because that's about all they give him. Santana extended his dominant start to the season, striking out 10 in seven innings of two-hit ball, and New York scratched out a run Wednesday night on Pedro Feliz's throwing error for a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

"Tonight was a great game, great atmosphere," Santana said. "We did everything the way it's supposed to be done."

In their first visit to the Mets' new ballpark, Citi Field, the Phillies wasted an excellent performance from previously struggling starter Chan Ho Park, who allowed one hit in six shutout innings.

It wasn't enough to beat Santana (4-1), who lowered his ERA to 0.91 and won 1-0 for the second time in six starts this year.

"He's great. He brings unbelievable energy to the game - on and off the field," teammate Carlos Delgado said. "He's been awesome. We've been spoiled."

Delgado chugged home from first base on a bad hip when Feliz threw away pinch-hitter Fernando Tatis' infield single to third with two outs in the seventh. Right fielder Jayson Werth retrieved the ball but double-clutched before a late throw to the plate, and Delgado scored with a feet-first slide.

"Speed kills," he said with a smile.

New York won its third straight game for the first time this season, dropping Philadelphia to 8-3 on the road.

After the game, the Mets put struggling starter Oliver Perez (1-2, 9.97 ERA) on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right knee. Jonathon Niese will be called up from the minors to start Friday night against Pittsburgh, keeping 40-year-old rookie Ken Takahashi in the bullpen.

The NL pitcher of the month for April, Santana threw 73 of 101 pitches for strikes and fanned at least 10 for the third time this year. Working on six days' rest, he was lifted for a pinch hitter after New York took the lead.

"He's really, really special," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "This is the most impressive I've seen him."

Pedro Feliciano struck out Ryan Howard with a runner on third to end the eighth, dropping the big slugger to 4 for 24 (.167) against the lefty specialist.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save in eight chances. Despite being outhit 3-2, New York won the opener of an eight-game homestand before a crowd of 37,600.

Scott Eyre (0-1) took the loss for the Phillies, who had won three straight and eight of 10. Philadelphia made three errors after entering the game with only five all season, fewest in the majors.

"It's definitely frustrating. We've played great defense all year long," center fielder Shane Victorino said.

Santana's run of consistent dominance has been remarkable. He has one loss in his last 23 starts, when Florida scored two unearned runs in a 2-1 victory April 12.

The left-hander has allowed no more than two runs in 12 straight starts and is 13-1 in his last 14 decisions. He hasn't had much help, either: The Mets have managed 12 runs in his six starts this year, 10 while he was still in the game.

"You catch yourself at third base just kind of watching him, enjoying the show," David Wright said. "It'd be nice to give him a nice, relaxing win - put up eight runs and let him coast."

Park was roughed up by the Mets last Friday, issuing six walks in 4 2-3 innings of a 7-4 loss. He looked like a different pitcher this time.

The right-hander entered with an 8.57 ERA, but the only hit he allowed was Daniel Murphy's two-out double in the fifth.

"It was a good day for me," Park said. "I think the confidence is there."

Park was lifted for pinch-hitter Eric Bruntlett with a runner on second and two outs in the seventh. Santana struck out Bruntlett with a 94 mph fastball.

"I felt like we had to go for the run," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Notes: Phillies 2B Chase Utley (bruised right foot) was back in the lineup after sitting out Tuesday. ... Santana also was the NL pitcher of the month in September 2008.

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