7,533: Santana perfect through 3 1/3 but Mets lose 3-1

3 1/3 not enough

Johan Santana took a no-hitter in the fourth inning Tuesday, providing a brief glimmer of hope that the Mets’ 47-year drought might be coming to an end.

But it wasn’t to be, and Santana wound up yielding seven hits and three runs during a 3-1 loss at PNC Park.

Santana retired the first 10 batters he faced before Sanchez dropped a broken-bat blooper into shallow left field to bump our NoNoHitters.com count up to 7,533 New York Mets games without a no-no. We had been hoping we’d get to update our Lost Mets no-hitters that reached at least the fifth inning page for the first time this year, but the ball popped out of the glove of a diving Fernando Tatis.

One batter earlier, David Wright got in front of a hard-hit liner by the speedy Nyjer Morgan and made an amazing recovery to throw the first and save the no-no.

(For the record, Mets pitchers have reached the fifth inning without yielding a hit 258 times during the team’s 47 years of existence, the most recent performance being by Santana last year. Santana gave up a leadoff fifth-inning single to Troy Glaus during a 9-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on July 27, 2009.)

The Mets got runners in scoring position in the second and third innings but were unable to turn them into runs. Luis Castillo singled up the middle with runners on first and second in the third but Nate Mclouth threw out Jeremy Reed at the plate.

New York was finally able to squeeze out a run in the fourth after Ramon Martinez and Reed hit back-to-back singles and Santana pushed a perfect sacrifice bunt down the third-base line. Castillo then flied out to shallow center, and Martinez was able to tag up and score (although he injured his left hand on the play and left the game).

The Pirates tied the game at 1 in the fifth when Jason Jaramillo blasted a belt-high 2-1 fastball over the left field wall. Santana allowed two more runners in the inning, but turned a bang-bang 1-6-3 double-play to end the inning. Morgan appeared to beat out the throw at first, and he was thrown out of the game arguing the call.

The Pirates took a 3-1 lead in the sixth after Sanchez led-off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then McLouth and Adam LaRoche hit back-to-back doubles.

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