Mets make it five straight with another 3-hit shutout

Ramon Castro hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning Wednesday night to lead the Mets to a 5-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants. That kept the Mets 1 1/2 games behind the first place Philadelphia Phillies, who beat the Cardinals 4-2.

Castro’s tiimely blast capped a two-out rally that began with a Carlos Delgado double and a Fernando Tatis walk. Argenis Reyes subbed in to go 2-for-2 with an RBI and Jose Reyes knocked the other Reyes in for another insurance run. Those two runs were also scored with two outs, which is something that wasn’t happening much earlier in the season.

Santana pitched five solid innings, giving up three hits and three walks before the game was delayed by a short but heavy rain storm. The delay lasted just 40 minutes, but Jerry Manuel chose to pull Santana and leave the game in the hands of the bullpen. Aaron Heilman (2 innings) and Duaner Sanchez and Joe Smith (1 inning each) were all perfect to secure the Mets’ fifth straight win.

Santana lost his quest for the first Mets no-hitter in the second inning when Aaron Rowand singled to right center. That marks the 7,411th New York Mets game without a no-hitter.

So what is that 102 under the 7,411 about? It’s the number of Mets games since the last one-hitter. This won’t be a regular feature, but we’ll throw it up there from time to time when we pass a significant milestone (I’m a couple days late, actually).

The last one-hitter, of course, was John Maine’s 13-0 gem on Sept. 29, 2007, which gave the Mets a chance to reach the postseason. We all know what happened after that, and we won’t get into any more detail here.

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