Victorino’s ninth-inning single wastes Santana gem

The Philadelphia Phillies’ Shane Victorino hit a two-out, ninth-inning single Friday night to beat the New York Mets 3-2 and again waste a stellar outing by starter Johan Santana.

Santana gave up just two runs and six hits over eight innings, and reliever Duaner Sanchez struck out Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell to start the ninth inning. But Sanchez hung a changeup and got beat by Pedro Feliz for a double before unsuccessfully challenging Victorino with an inside fastball. Game over.

The Mets broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth when Jose Reyes beat out a double play to let Damion Easley score from third. They added a second run when David Wright walked with the bases loaded, but the Mets failed to put the game away when Carlos Beltran struck out swinging to strand three runners.

Meanwhile, Santana was working his mastery, needing only 50 pitches through five innings. Santana got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the sixth – throwing 22 pitches as the Phils hit four singles to tie the game at two – but he settled in again for the seventh and eighth. Perhaps Manuel should have left him in for the ninth.

Santana lost his bid for a no-hitter on the first batter when Jayson Werth singled to left. That advanced our count to 7,406 New York Mets games without a no-hitter and makes the 903rd time in franchise history (and the 24th time this season) that a Mets game has begun with a leadoff hit by their opponent. (Check out our No-hitters killed by first at bat for more details.)

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