NEW YORK -- With just enough runs to support him, Johan Santana finally got his first win of 2012 as the New York Mets held off the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 Saturday before 30,253 at Citi Field.
The two-time Cy Young winner, for whom the Mets had been shut out in four of his first five starts, took advantage of a four-run Mets outburst in the fourth inning as he improved to 1-2 on the season.
Santana didn't have his best stuff, but managed to work his way through seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and a walk, with five strikeouts.
Bobby Parnell pitched a scoreless eighth and Frank Francisco closed out the ninth for his sixth save.
Santana bested 22-year-old Patrick Corbin (1-1), who was looking for his second consecutive winning start since being called up by Arizona from Double-A Mobile on April 30.
Daniel Murphy tied his career high with four hits, while light-hitting backup catcher Mike Nickeas had a two-run single to pace the Mets. New York broke a season-high four-game losing streak with the victory.
The Mets built their four-run fourth inning rally around small ball as they sent eight men to the plate.
Back-to-back singles by Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner and a walk to Kirk Nieuwenhuis loaded the bases. Nickeas then laced a single to right-center to drive in two.
Corbin was lifted by manager Kirk Gibson after just 83 pitches (46 strikes) in favor of Josh Collmenter. Santana sacrificed the runners to second and third, and Andres Torres singled them both home.
The Dbacks responded with two runs of their own in the fifth to tighten the score to 4-3. Singles by AJ Pollock and BJ Upton preceded a two-out, two-RBI double by Paul Goldschmidt. But Santana recovered, getting Ryan Roberts to fly out without any further damage.
The Diamondbacks had opened the scoring in the second inning when Roberts, hitting .164 coming into the game, blasted a two-out solo homer to left-center off Santana.
The Mets tried to respond in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Murphy singled past a diving Roberts. After Turner flied out, Nieuwenhuis worked a full-count walk, but Corbin struck out Nickeas to end the threat.
The D'Backs got runners to third base in both the third and fourth innings, but couldn't bring them home. In the third, Corbin led off with a single, his first major league hit. After two out, Upton singled Corbin to third. But Santana struck out Jason Kubel on a 3-2 changeup to retire the side.
In the fourth, Santana yielded a walk to Roberts and a single to John McDonald. Henry Blanco flied out to right with Roberts advancing to third, but Santana again wriggled out of trouble by getting Corbin on a fly to center for the third out.
NOTES: After Friday's 5-4 win, Arizona had a snapped a streak in which they'd lost nine consecutive one-run games. ... Dbacks second baseman Aaron Hill's streak of reaching base ended at 22. ... Corbin, who grew up in upstate Syracuse, N.Y., left over 50 tickets for family and friends who travelled to see him pitch. ... Facing a lefty gave Mets Manager Collins a good reason to rest struggling first baseman Ike Davis. "I don't know if he's ever gone through a slump," Collins said about Davis, who's hitting just .172 for the season. "He went through the minors [in two years] without ever having to deal with failure, and now he's facing a tough time in the majors. That's not easy. But he'll be fine." Davis did come in for defense in the ninth.