The ace left-hander hopes to bounce back from one of the worst starts of his career and pitch the Mets to a ninth consecutive home win as they continue their series with the San Francisco Giants on Saturday afternoon.
For most of April, Santana (3-2, 4.50 ERA) displayed the form that won him two Cy Young Awards during his time with Minnesota, allowing one run in 19 1-3 innings in his final three starts of the month.
He opened May, however, with an ugly performance in Philadelphia on Sunday. In 3 2-3 innings of an 11-5 loss, Santana gave up a career-high 10 runs while matching a career worst by allowing four homers.
“Just a rough night,” Santana said. “I tried to command my fastball, but it was all over the place. It was one of those days where whatever I did, didn’t work out.”
That defeat was the second of three in a row for the Mets (16-13) to begin this month after they closed April with eight consecutive victories. They’ve rebounded by winning two of three, taking the series opener 6-4 on Friday night.
It was their eighth straight victory at Citi Field, their longest streak at home since winning 11 in a row at Shea Stadium from Aug. 5-24, 2006.
Francisco Rodriguez suffered his second blown save in six chances but got the victory when catcher Rod Barajas(notes) hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth - his team-leading ninth and second of the game.
New York snapped a three-game winning streak for San Francisco, which had opened its road trip with a sweep of Florida.
Wellemeyer (1-3, 5.55) returns to the mound Saturday after his previous turn was skipped. He threw three shutout innings in relief against Colorado on Sunday.
After losing his first three outings, the veteran right-hander was also sharp in his last start, allowing two runs in seven innings of a 6-2 win over the Phillies on April 27.
Sandoval is 0 for 14 in his last three games and 2 for 28 (.071) in May, but he has gone 5 for 7 (.714) with two doubles and a home run against Santana.
“He’s really pressing,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Sandoval. “He’s fighting it all a little bit right now.”
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