WHAT IT MEANS: Johan Santana's feel-good comeback hit a speed bump.
Santana, hampered by two errors behind him, had the shortest start of his career, recording only four outs.
Johan Santana had the shortest start of his major league career Tuesday.
The Braves scored six runs (four earned) against Santana, whose last pitch before his Sept. 14, 2010, surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder also came at Turner Field.
He departed with the Mets trailing 6-0 and their bid to win a fifth straight game against Atlanta to open the season -- which would match the franchise record for the season series, set in 1989 -- in jeopardy.
The Mets ultimately lost, 9-3.
Santana's previous shortest career start had been three innings, which happened three times: with the Mets at Yankee Stadium on June 14, 2009, and twice with the Minnesota Twins, in '04 and '07.
Santana entered Tuesday's start having allowed only one run and seven hits while striking out 13 and walking five in 10 innings spanning two starts.
He will be winless in his first three starts of a season for the first time since 2006.
Santana coaxed a fly ball to left field off the bat of Michael Bourn to open the bottom of the first. But Jason Bay, who robbed Jack Wilson of a homer Monday night, this time dropped the chance for a two-base error. Bourn eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Chipper Jones -- the 155th RBI of the retiring third baseman's career against the Mets, trailing only Willie Stargell's 182 and Mike Schmidt's 162.
An inning later, the wheels fell off. Dan Uggla opened the frame with a walk. Matt Diaz lined a single back through the box. Freddie Freeman and Tyler Pastornicky consecutively doubled. Randall Delgado then tried to sacrifice bunt. Ike Davis aggressively tried to make the play at third base and threw the ball errantly past David Wright. After Bourn grounded out and Jason Heyward produced an RBI single to make it 6-0, Santana was pulled.
Santana's line: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. He threw 55 pitches (35 strikes). It also was the first start of Santana's career without a strikeout.
PENWORK: Manny Acosta was forced to work three innings in relief, matching his career high. He allowed a solo homer to Juan Francisco.
WRIGHT STUFF: Wright singled with two out in the ninth, his second hit of the game. He extended his franchise-record streak of reaching base at least twice by hit or walk to start a season to eight games.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets complete their six-game trip with R.A. Dickey (2-0, 2.08 ERA) opposing Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens (0-1, 7.71) in Wednesday's 12:10 p.m. series finale.