NEW YORK—Entering today, Johan Santana had beaten every team in the Majors except his former club, the Minnesota Twins. Santana had never faced them before and will never want to face them again.
He got rocked in the first inning, as he gave up four runs on three doubles. After getting Denard Span to pop up to begin the game, Orlando Hudson doubled to left-center. Joe Mauer drove him in with a single. Two batters later, Michael Cuddyer walked, Jason Kubel hit a ground-rule double bringing in a run, and Delmon Young doubled in two more, giving the Twins a 4-0, first-inning lead.
Starting against the Mets was former Yankee Carl Pavano. The Mets had one of their worst hitting days of the season, as they got shut out on three hits, and never sniffed a rally, not getting a runner past second base all day.
It took the Mets until the third inning to even get a hit, a bunt single by Jeff Francoeur, but the next hitter, Alex Cora, hit a pop-up double play. He popped up to shortstop, and Francoeur was stealing second, as he couldn't retreat to first.
It was the second straight inning that the Mets hit into a double play in the air. In the second, after Ike Davis walked, Jason Bay lined out to short, and Davis couldn't get back to first.
In the fourth, the Twins added a run on a Denard Span RBI double, extending the lead to 5-0. Santana would go six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, he walked two and struck out four, he also had a balk.
It was the fourth straight start that Santana has given up four or more runs, ending an awful month of June for him.
The Mets tried getting something done in the fifth when they got two two-out singles but they couldn't break through. Pavano would retire 13 or his last 14 batters faced as he shut the Mets out, his second consecutive complete game.
The Twins added a run in the ninth on a leadoff home run by Jason Kubel, snapping 24.1 straight scoreless innings from the Mets bullpen.
The Mets will now play the rubber game of the series with the Twins tomorrow afternoon, trying to win the series and the homestand. They'll have Jon Niese on the mound against the Twins' Scott Baker.
NL East standings (top 3 teams)
NY Mets 42-32 (1 1/2)
Philadelphia 39-33 (3 1/2)
Series probable pitchers:
New York: Jon Niese (2010: 4-2, 4.17 ERA) vs. Minnesota: Scott Baker (2010: 6-6, 4,.61 ERA)
New York Mets:
June 27 vs. Minnesota Twins
June 28-30 @ Florida Marlins*
June 27 @ New York Mets
June 28-30 vs. Detroit Tigers
*Series to be played in San Juan, Puerto Rico