Johan Santana twice had scoreless appearances on the last road trip, only to come away with a pair of no-decisions in Mets losses. This time, the left-hander was far less precise, yet he won for only the second time since April 27 as the Mets beat the Cleveland Indians, 7-6, on Tuesday night at Progressive Field.
Francisco Rodriguez allowed a pinch-hit two-run homer with two out in the ninth to Shelley Duncan but held on for his 14th save.
The Mets had been 8-18 on the road this season, but have now polished that mark by sweeping a three-game series in Baltimore and capturing the series opener in Cleveland. They moved a season-high eight games over .500 and have won nine of their past 10.
Santana surrendered a solo homer to Travis Hafner in Cleveland’s three-run second inning, but the Mets clawed back with a combination of power courtesy of a two-run homer from Ike Davis and hustle in the form of seven infield singles, one of which resulted in Jose Reyes scoring from second base on a grounder to shortstop by David Wright.
Santana (5-3) ultimately was charged with four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out one batter and tossing 103 pitches.
Wright, who went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs, now has 50 RBIs this season. He entered the day two RBIs behind Atlanta’s Troy Glaus for the National League lead.
9:47 p.m.: Mets win, 7-6.
9:44 p.m.: K-Rod allows a pinch-hit two-run homer to ex-Yankee Shelley Duncan with two out in the ninth. Mets clinging to a 7-6 lead.
9:39 p.m.: K-Rod on to try to protect a three-run lead in the ninth.
9:11 p.m.: Johan Santana's outing is complete after seven innings and 103 pitches. Santana allows four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out one, but is in position to win for only the second time since April 27. Pedro Feliciano opens the eighth.
8:53 p.m.: With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Jason Bay grounds into a run-scoring fielder's choice at the Mets expand their lead to 7-4.
8:21 p.m.: Before the fifth inning is complete, Ike Davis delivers a two-run homer, making it 6-4 Mets.
8:19 p.m.: A pair of sloppy plays by Cleveland gets the Mets on the board again in the fifth. After a single by Jeff Francoeur, Alex Cora bunts, and second baseman Luis Valbuena is late covering first. Jose Reyes then reaches on an infield single that pitcher Justin Masteron throws wide of first base, allowing Francoeur to score. With two runners in scoring position, David Wright then beats out another infield single. Two runs score on the play, as not only is Cora plated, but Reyes hustles home all the way from second base once shortstop Jason Donald throws to first. Mets and Indians now tied at 4.
8:11 p.m.: Jason Donald contributes a two-out RBI single in the fourth to make it 4-1 Indians.
7:36 p.m.: Johan Santana appeared to get a break in the second inning. After the Indians load the bases with one out, No. 9 hitter Jason Donald attempts to bunt. The ball hits Donald in play, outside the batter's box, and Donald is out. With two out, though, Trevor Crowe delivers a two-run single as the Indians take a 3-1 lead in the second inning.
7:28 p.m.: Travis Hafner homers on a 1-2 pitch from Johan Santana in the bottom of the second to even the score at 1. Hafner has four homers in his last six games.
7:10 p.m.: Jose Reyes walks, steals second and ultimately scores on an infield single by David Wright, who beats out a grounder to third base. Mets lead, 1-0.
7:05 p.m.: Lineups:
Jose Reyes, SS
Angel Pagan, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Chris Carter, DH
Rod Barajas, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Alex Cora, 2B
Johan Santana, LHP
Trevor Crowe, CF
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Carlos Santana, C
Travis Hafner, DH
Austin Kearns, LF
Russell Branyan, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Jason Donald, SS
Justin Masterson, RHP