NEW YORK (AP) - The Diamondbacks had the potential tying run in scoring position four times in the last five innings.
A day after snapping a nine-game losing streak in one-run games, Arizona was back to losing a close one. Rookie starter Patrick Corbin was knocked out in the fourth inning of a 4-3 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday.
Ryan Roberts broke out of a 3-for-35 slump with a home run, but the Diamondbacks couldn't get any clutch hits late in the game.
``We had a lot of pressure on them all day - just couldn't get the hit,' Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.
Mets ace Johan Santana earned his first win since shoulder surgery in September 2010, toughing out seven innings to snap New York's four-game losing streak. Mike Nickeas and Andres Torres each hit a two-run single to back the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
``It's always good to get that first one out of the way,' Santana said.
The Diamondbacks got a runner to second in both the eighth and ninth but couldn't drive in the tying run. Frank Francisco struck out slugger Justin Upton to end it.
Corbin is from Clay, N.Y., a suburb of Syracuse, about 4 1/2 hours from Citi Field. He left 50 or so tickets for family and friends, but they didn't get to see him for long as he kept falling behind hitters.
``I think I was trying to be a little bit too perfect,' he said, ``trying to throw a perfect pitch instead of attacking them better. ... I've been giving them a little too much credit and not going after them like I did in spring training.'
Roberts didn't start Friday at third base and was retired as a pinch hitter. Cody Ransom had a home run and three RBIs in his place, but Roberts was back in the lineup Saturday, and he responded with two hits and a walk.
``You come in and put your work in and just try to keep everything in control and in perspective,' Roberts said. ``That's it. Everything else you can't really control.'
With the potential tying run on second, Bobby Parnell struck out pinch-hitter Miguel Montero looking in the eighth. In the ninth, Francisco retired Aaron Hill on a shallow fly and then struck out Upton swinging for his sixth save in seven chances.
Santana (1-2) allowed nine hits but gave up only three runs, striking out five and walking one in his longest outing since the surgery.
``He threw all three of his pitches for strikes: good slider, changeup, fastball,' Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. ``We weren't able to do enough against him.'
Daniel Murphy went 4 for 4 for the second four-hit game of his career and the Mets' bullpen bounced back with two scoreless innings after blowing a late lead Friday night.
The Mets had scored just four runs in Santana's first five starts this year but matched that total in the fourth inning Saturday.
Down 1-0, New York loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. Nickeas singled in two runs, chasing Corbin (1-1), who won his debut Monday at Miami. The 22-year-old lefty allowed four runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 3 1-3 innings.
Santana bunted the runners over to second and third against Josh Collmenter, and Torres' two-out single gave New York a 4-1 lead.
Santana nearly let it slip away. He opened the fifth by allowing a single to A.J. Pollock. With runners on first and second and two outs, Goldschmidt, who had struck out in his first two at_bats, hit a two-run double to pull Arizona to 4-3. But Roberts flied out to end the rally.
NOTES: Corbin got his first major league hit, a single off Santana in the third. Santana then singled off Corbin in the bottom half for his first hit of the season. ... Collmenter started the season in the rotation but moved to the bullpen after allowing 20 earned runs in 18 1-3 innings over four starts. He was sharp after giving up the two-run single to Torres, allowing three hits and no runs while striking out three in three innings.
The Associated Press News Service
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