NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Johan Santana made history the last time he took the mound.
A win over the Yankees might be satisfying enough this time.
Coming off the first no-hitter in the history of the Mets, Santana will be well-rested when he takes the mound at Yankee Stadium on Friday night for the first installment of the 2012 Subway Series.
1010 WINS’ John Montone reports
Santana (3-2, 2.38 ERA) cemented his status in Mets lore last Friday, pitching the first no-hitter in franchise history in an 8-0 victory over St. Louis. The dazzling performance, accomplished in a career-high 134 pitches, may have been even more impressive in light of the fact that major shoulder surgery forced him to miss all of last year.
That’s a big reason manager Terry Collins opted to push Santana’s scheduled start back two days to the opener of this weekend’s set.
“That extra day is always good,” said Santana, who has thrown two straight shutouts including a four-hitter May 26 versus San Diego. “I know my body very well, so I know if something is not right, I’ll let him know. I’m not going to do anything crazy.”
The left-hander, who is 3-0 with a 2.06 ERA in eight starts since a loss at Atlanta on April 17, now gets his chance to match the feat of Johnny Vander Meer (Cincinnati, 1938), the only player in major league history to throw back-to-back no-hitters.
Merely defeating the Yankees (31-25) should be good enough for Santana and the Mets (32-26).
Santana has lost his two visits to new Yankee Stadium, surrendering 13 runs in nine innings while the Yankees hit .405 with two homers against him. He was much better at the old Yankee Stadium, going 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA.
The Mets dropped four of six in the Subway Series last year, losing two of three at Yankee Stadium from May 20-22. They arrive in the Bronx after ending a three-game skid with a 3-1 win at Washington on Thursday.
“This place is going to be rocking and it’s going to be exciting,” said Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher. “In rivalry games, you can throw records aside. It doesn’t matter because everybody is going to bring their A-game.”
Lucas Duda had two hits including a two-run homer Thursday to improve to .357 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in his last eight games. He went 3 for 9 against the Yankees last year.
Mets third baseman David Wright, 6 for 17 in his last four games, is batting .410 in his last nine road meetings with the Yankees. He is 6 for 14 versus Hiroki Kuroda (4-6, 3.82) who will get the ball for the Yankees in the series opener.
The Yankees are one-half game behind AL East co-leaders Baltimore and Tampa Bay. They lost 7-3 to the Rays on Thursday after winning 10 of their previous 13.
They’ve been playing well despite a rough patch for Derek Jeter, who is 2 for 20 with a solo homer in his last five games, dropping his season average 21 points to .319.
Facing the Mets could get Jeter going. He’s batting .481 with six homers during a 25-game hitting streak versus the Mets that dates to June 27, 2003. Jeter is hitting .435 with 10 homers in 41 career home Subway Series contests during the regular season, and is 15 for 33 with five doubles and a homer off Santana.
Kuroda is seeking a third straight strong outing.
The right-hander allowed two runs in seven innings while not getting a decision in a 4-3 loss at Detroit on Saturday. That performance came six days after he yielded four hits in eight innings of a 2-0 victory at Oakland.
Kuroda hasn’t been very effective in seven career starts against the Mets, going 1-5 with a 5.75 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He lost to the Mets twice last year while surrendering nine runs in 11 2-3 innings.
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