Santana strong in return as Mets slip past Braves
Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Johan Santana made a successful return to the mound as the New York Mets extended their Opening Day dominance with a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.
Santana gave up two hits with two walks and five strikeouts over five innings in his first start since beating the Braves on September 2, 2010. He missed all of last season while recovering from left shoulder surgery.
"I'm happy. Finally have an opportunity to go out there in a game that counts and definitely get it out of the way. It was very important and it was good," Santana said.
David Wright singled home the game's only run in the sixth inning off Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson (0-1).
The Mets improved to 33-18 in season openers, the best winning percentage (.647) in baseball history.
Santana retired 12 consecutive Braves before Matt Diaz doubled with one out in the fifth. After issuing back-to-back walks to the No. 8 and 9 hitters, Santana escaped the bases-loaded jam when he fielded Michael Bourn's grounder and threw the speedster out at first base.
New York threatened in the bottom of the inning, placing runners on first and second, but Hanson struck out pinch-hitter Mike Baxter to keep the game scoreless.
The Braves squandered another opportunity with two men in scoring position in the sixth, and the Mets got on the board in their half of the inning.
Newcomer Andres Torres led off with a walk and back-to-back singles by Daniel Murphy and Wright produced New York's first run of the season. Kris Medlen relieved Hanson and retired the next three batters, limiting the damage.
"Until that last inning, I felt like I threw the ball well," Hanson said.
Atlanta's best chance to score came in the seventh when rookie Tyler Pastornicky stroked his first major league hit, a one-out triple off Ramon Ramirez (1-0). Torres strained his left calf on the play and departed from the game.
Tim Byrdak, though, fanned both Jose Constanza and Bourn swinging to preserve the lead.
Jon Rauch tossed a 1-2-3 eighth for New York and Frank Francisco pitched the ninth to earn the save.
The game was preceded by a tribute to Hall of Famer Gary Carter, who passed away February 16 after a 10-month battle with brain cancer...The Mets recorded their seventh Opening Day shutout...Hanson allowed four hits, walked three and struck out four...Pastornicky, a shortstop, made his major league debut.
04/05 17:46:54 ET