- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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WHAT IT MEANS: Terry Collins said he wasn’t worried about Johan Santana prior to Friday night’s game.
Maybe the Mets manager should be.
Santana gave up six earned runs on seven hits in three innings, and the Mets lost to the Dodgers, 7-6, at Citi Field. The 33-year-old left-hander became the third player in franchise history to allow six-or-more earned runs in three straight starts, joining Pedro Astacio and Bobby Jones.
Prior to his career-high 134-pitch no-hitter on June 1, Santana sported a 2.75 ERA. But since then, he’s surrendered 31 earned runs in 42 2/3 innings -- which amounts to a 6.54 ERA over eight starts.
In the first inning on Friday night, Santana allowed three runs on four hits -- highlighted by Matt Kemp’s towering two-run homer to left-center. In the second, he walked Andre Ethier on four pitches -- one of three L.A. walks in the inning -- with the bases loaded to force in a two-out run. In the third, he gave up a leadoff single to Jerry Hairston Jr. before Luis Cruz took him deep to left for his first career MLB homer.
Santana (6-7), who threw 72 pitches, walked three and struck out two, was lifted for pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis before he even got a chance to bat.
The Mets (47-46) are 1-6 since the All-Star break.
SEE ME SPIN: Jordany Valdespin connected for his MLB-high tying fourth pinch-hit homer of the season -- a two-run shot to left -- in the seventh, tying a franchise record for pinch-hit homers in a season (Danny Heep and Mark Carreon). All four of Valdespin’s hits as a pinch-hitter in 2012 have been homers.
MURPH DOG: Daniel Murphy had a career-high tying four hits, including a pair of doubles and an RBI.
RBI MACHINE: David Wright delivered his 66th RBI on a first-inning sacrifice fly, which at the time tied him for the National League lead.
UNSUNG HEROES: Four Mets pitchers combined to fire six innings of one-run ball in relief of Santana.
UP NEXT: Miguel Batista (1-2, 4.33 ERA) opposes ex-Met Chris Capuano (9-5, 2.75) on Saturday afternoon.