Johan Santana takes his cut in Mets’ 10-3 loss to Cardinals
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP)—Johan Santana is looking forward to taking his cuts in the National League.
Traded from Minnesota to the Mets last month, Santana had his first plate appearance of spring training Saturday when he grounded out against Adam Wainwright during New York’s 10-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
“At least I made contact,” Santana said. “I didn’t strikeout. It was a little weird, but it’s part of the game, and it’s what I’ve got to get used to.”
On the mound, the two-time Cy Young Award winner labored through his latest start. Santana gave up four runs—three earned—on five hits and a walk. He struck out five in an 84-pitch outing.
“Overall, I felt pretty good,” Santana said. “I threw my fastball in and out. My changeup was good and today I was able to throw my slider better than last time.
“I felt pretty good, even though they hit some pretty good balls.”
The left-hander impressed Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols.
“Santana, he’s the best pitcher in the game, he and Roy Oswalt,” Pujols said. “He’s a guy you don’t want to get two strikes down against.”
Carlos Delgado hit an opposite-field home run for the Mets, his first of the spring. He is batting .143 (3-for-21).
Wainwright gave up two hits and two runs—one earned—in five innings. He struck out three, walked one and enjoyed going up against one of baseball’s best pitchers.
“I love that,” Wainwright said. “I wish I could pitch against No. 1s every day. I feel like I’m going to beat them sometimes. I feel like they’re going to pitch great sometimes.
“I feed off that. I love it.”
The Mets got some good news when second baseman Luis Castillo and utility player Marlon Anderson came back after injuries. Castillo is recovering from offseason surgery to clean out his knee, and Anderson is recovering from a bruised sternum.
“I don’t feel (anything) in my knee,” Castillo said. “I feel good, and I hope I feel like that the whole spring.”
Castillo went 0-for-1 with two walks in three plate appearances, his first of the spring. With Castillo back, the Mets had all but three regulars in the lineup: left fielder Moises Alou (hernia), catcher Brian Schneider (hamstring) and right fielder Ryan Church (paternity leave).
Anderson batted for Santana in the fifth inning and struck out.
The Mets optioned right-hander Ruddy Lugo to Triple-A New Orleans.