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GAME OF THE DAY

Mets' Santana shuts Marlins down, 7-2

April 01, 2008|From the Associated Press

MIAMI -- Johan Santana insisted he was a bit nervous in the moments before his highly anticipated debut with the New York Mets.

Didn't look it, not one bit.

Santana struck out eight in seven dominant innings, David Wright hit a three-run double and New York opened its season with a 7-2 win Monday over the Florida Marlins.

"It's always good to get the first one out of the way," Santana said. "I wasn't trying to put anything in my head or anything. Just another game, another opening day, different uniform, lot of expectations. But I felt good."

Santana -- who was traded to the Mets from Minnesota this winter and signed a $137.5-million, six-year contract -- dazzled Monday from beginning to end. The two-time Cy Young Award winner struck out Hanley Ramirez to begin the game and Matt Treanor to end his outing, and gave up only three hits.

Wright and Carlos Beltran each doubled twice for the Mets. Jose Reyes added two hits for New York, which has won 30 of its last 39 openers.

Josh Willingham hit a two-run home run for Florida.

The Mets took command with their biggest inning on an opening day, scoring six runs in the fourth against Mark Hendrickson.

When Santana walked off the field after the seventh, the decidedly pro-Mets crowd of 38,308 at Dolphin Stadium gave him a long cheer.

"He's one of the best," Manager Willie Randolph said. "It's a pleasure to watch him work."

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