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Santana Pitches Seven Strong Innings In Mets' Victory

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Johan Santana silenced the Dodgers for seven innings, and New York’s offense awoke from a two-week slumber in a 6-1 victory at Chavez Ravine.

The Mets were held to four runs or less in each of their previous 13 games, but a balanced attack with the bats and Santana’s arm helped the club to their second win in nine games since the All-Star break.

Santana (8-5) surrendered just one run on five hits and a walk to go with four strikeouts in the win. The left-hander has gone at least seven frames and given up one run or less in his last five outings.

Jason Bay went 2-for-4 with three RBI, Ike Davis hit a solo home run, and Jose Reyes doubled, walked, stole a base and scored two runs for the victors.

Vicente Padilla (4-3) took the look despite allowing a mere two runs — one earned — on six hits in seven innings for Los Angeles, which won the opener of this four-game series, 2-0, on Thursday.

“Padilla pitched sensational. We just couldn’t get any offense going. Santana works fast and you don’t get many opportunities against him,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “We’ve been struggling offensively.”

Reyes doubled leading off the game, moved to third on Luis Castillo’s bunt single and scored when Blake DeWitt missed Russell Martin’s throw to second on Castillo’s steal attempt.

Davis crushed Padilla’s 53-m.p.h. curve in the second to make it 2-0, though the Mets left a pair of runners in scoring position when Castillo grounded out to short. It was a close play at first, and New York manager Jerry Manuel was ejected by first base umpire Doug Eddings for arguing the call.

Santana used several terrific fielding plays behind him to maintain the lead early on, as Bay made a running catch while slamming into the left-field fence in the second, and Angel Pagan and Carlos Beltran each pulled off sliding grabs in the outfield a little later.

LA got its only run in the fifth, as Martin doubled leading off, advanced 90 feet on a groundout and scored on Jamey Carroll’s sac fly.

The visitors pulled away in the eighth against the Dodgers’ bullpen. James McDonald relieved Jeff Weaver after a pair of walks and yielded a sacrifice fly to David Wright for a 3-1 game. An intentional walk to Beltran was followed by Jack Taschner putting Davis on with another walk to load the bases.

Yet another pitching change saw Travis Schlichting come in to face Bay, who laced a liner to the right-field gap to clear the bags and send the Mets to a much-needed win.

“I felt I had good at-bats tonight, and it was nice to get good results in the eighth inning,” recalled Bay. “That was big in a lot of ways.”

Before the game, New York designated pitcher Fernando Nieve for assignment and recalled pitcher Manny Acosta from Triple-A Buffalo…Santana has been victorious in all four career starts against LA…Bobby Parnell and Francisco Rodriguez each threw a scoreless inning of relief for the Mets…Padilla was 3-0 with a 0.98 earned run average in his previous four starts coming in…Casey Blake had two of the Dodgers’ five hits…The Mets had lost 10 of 14 games in Hollywood since the 2007 season.