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June 19, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana (57) pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Game Recap: Johan Santana Powers Second Straight Mets Shutout

After struggling in two starts following his historic no-hitter against the Cardinals, Johan Santana took the mound at Citi Field for the first time since that memorable performance. Not only did he get a hefty applause from the crowd, but he also gave them something else to cheer about, silencing those worried about his future performance after the 134-pitch appearance.

Mets Offensive Highlights:

Tommy Hunter was very economical in his 6.1 innings pitched, only throwing 88 pitches, but he made just enough mistakes for the New York lineup to take advantage. Neither team scored until the Mets came to bat in the bottom of the fourth; with one out, David Wright and Lucas Duda both singled, followed by a walk to Ike Davis to load the bases. Daniel Murphy came up and grounded out sharply on a nice diving stop by Mark Reynolds, preventing more than one run from scoring. After Santana got himself out of a jam in the top of the sixth, Jordany Valdespin singled in front of Lucas Duda, who hit his 11th homer of the season, extending the lead to 3-0. Valdespin was at it again in the seventh, as he singled up the middle to score Omar Quintanilla and Josh Thole, pushing the lead to five runs, which was more than enough for the pitching staff. Of the eight hits by New York, Valdespin and Duda collected four altogether, also driving in

four of the five runs.

Orioles Offensive Highlights:

For the second straight night, the Orioles weren’t able to put runs on the board, despite having more chances to make the game interesting. They were able to threaten a couple of times with Santana on the mound, but weren’t able to cash in. J.J. Hardy singled and Matt Wieters doubled to put men on second and third with one out, but Santana fanned Mark Reynolds and Steve Pearce to end the fourth. In the top of the sixth, Adam Jones singled with nobody on and two outs and Wieters walked behind him, but Reynolds killed the rally again, popping out to Quintanilla. Overall, Baltimore left six runners on base, while going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Pitching Highlights:

As was mentioned before, Tommy Hunter didn’t pitch poorly, but he made enough mistakes to earn his ninth loss of the season. His final line included 6.1 innings pitched, 7 hits allowed, 5 earned runs, and 1 walk on 3 strikeouts. Southpaw Dana Eveland came in to to face a predominantly left-handed Met lineup, and quieted the offense over the last 1.2 innings.

Johan Santana finally got back to his form from earlier in the season, as he threw his best game since the 6/1 no-hitter. He threw 6 innings and gave up 4 hits, 2 walks, and no runs on 5 strikeouts. Terry Collins used Bobby Parnell, Miguel Batista, and Jon Rauch to piece together the last three innings, with Parnell and Rauch turning in perfect outings.

Worth Noting:

With the home run that he gave up to Lucas Duda tonight, Tommy Hunter has now surrendered 18 gopher balls in 2012, tied with Ervin Santana for the MLB lead. Ike Davis’ 0-for-3 night ends his nine-game hitting streak, but he put together some good at-bats and good swings, mainly the walk he drew after falling behind in the count 0-2. Valdespin has four hits in his last two games, while 8 of his 12 RBI have come in the past nine days.

The second straight win for the Mets puts them back to five games over .500 at 37-32. The Braves won to keep pace with New York, but Washington lost, so their lead in the NL East has now shrunk to three, as the Mets look to sweep Baltimore tonight.

Probable Pitchers Wednesday:

Dillon Gee (4-5, 4.43 ERA) is looking to bounce back from his lackluster start against the Reds last week by sending New York to their third straight win into the off day Thursday before they welcome the Yankees in for round two of the Subway Series. Buck Showalter will send Brian Matusz (5-7, 4.94 ERA) to the mound to try and get back on track after two subpar starts of his own. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.

Tags: Adam Jones Daniel Murphy David Wright Game Recap Johan Santana Johan Santana Shuts Down Orioles Jordany Valdespin Lucas Duda Matt Musico Mets Game Recap New York Mets Omar Quintanilla Rising Apple Tommy Hunter

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