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AP - Sports

A lack of support from the rest of the New York Mets shouldn't be new to Johan Santana.

He usually hasn't needed very much against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Mets will try to get their offense going again as Santana looks to re-establish his dominance of the Reds in the opener of this two-game set at Citi Field on Wednesday night.

Santana (1-2, 2.92 ERA) has been backed by 10 runs in seven starts this season, all of which have come in the past three while the ace has gone 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA.

The left-hander, who missed all of last year recovering from shoulder surgery, may be accustomed to a lack of production from New York. Since 2009, the two-time Cy Young Award winner has been backed by an average of 3.4 runs, the fewest of any qualifying pitcher.

He's 25-20 in that stretch despite a 3.04 ERA that's among the lowest in the NL.

New York mustered six hits in an 8-0 loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday, splitting a two-game set. The other time the Mets (20-16) were blanked this season came with Santana on the mound in a 4-0 defeat to Washington on April 11.

A rare early blip cost Santana on Friday in Miami. After giving up one first-inning run in his first six starts, Santana served up three to the Marlins before allowing nothing over the next five frames. He left without a decision in the 6-5 loss.

"We are certainly not used to somebody jumping on Johan like that," manager Terry Collins said.

Santana may not need a whole lot of production against the Reds (18-17) since he's 4-0 with a 3.16 ERA in six career starts against them. He won each of his three matchups with Cincinnati in 2009 and '10, yielding one run and 11 hits with 17 strikeouts in 21 2-3 innings.

If Santana's looking for some help at the plate Wednesday, David Wright and Daniel Murphy might be his best options.

Wright leads the majors with a .408 average and is 17 for 35 with six doubles, one homer and seven RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak. That strong stretch may continue since he's hitting .369 with three homers and 11 RBIs in his last 15 meetings with Cincinnati.

Murphy is batting .419 with five doubles while driving in nine runs in 10 career games versus the Reds. The second baseman enters this one riding a career-best 11-game hitting streak during which he's batting .455.

The Reds have hit .186 with runners in scoring position while dropping four of seven, and they've been held to three runs or fewer in six of those.

They went 1 for 8 with men on second and third in Tuesday's 6-2 loss at Atlanta.

Joey Votto didn't get a chance in that situation - he went 1 for 4 - but is hitting .407 with runners in scoring position. Votto is batting .366 overall with 10 homers in his last 19 games against the Mets, but he's just 2 for 18 in his last five visits to Flushing.

Mike Leake (0-5, 7.11) will get the ball for the Reds looking to rebound from his latest rough outing. The right-hander was pulled after surrendering six runs and seven hits - two homers - in three innings of Friday's 7-3 loss to Washington.

Leake is 0-1 with a 2.19 ERA in two starts against the Mets.

Following two games at Citi Field, Cincinnati heads to the Bronx on Friday for three with the Yankees.

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