With nine runs off Santana, Yanks roll

With nine runs off Santana, Yanks roll

NEW YORK -- The Subway Series had never seen a game this lopsided, and it was just the convincing conclusion the Yankees needed, securing the first chapter of this year's crosstown Interleague series.

Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano homered in a nine-run fourth inning as the Bronx Bombers hammered Johan Santana on the worst afternoon of his career, coasting to a 15-0 laugher over the Mets on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

"It's just the Subway Series -- you're going to see some strange things," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "If someone would have told us that's how we were going to win two out of three, I never would have guessed it."

Santana allowed a career-high nine runs and exited to wild cheers with no outs in the fourth inning as the Yankees took two of three games in the weekend set, highlighting their 17-hit attack by sending 12 men to the plate in the biggest frame since the Subway Series began across the street in 1997.

"It shows you he's human," said Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett. "It happens to everybody. This is a very, very potent lineup. Our job is to keep them in the game as best we can, because they're going to score runs."

That they did. Providing quick support for Burnett, who won for the third time in four starts, the Yankees had put up four runs to take an early lead against Santana in the second inning. The left-hander's luck only soured in the fourth.

Matsui belted a two-run homer to right-center, his 10th and sixth off a left-hander this year, and Derek Jeter chased Santana with a single -- one of four hits for the Yankees' shortstop -- to score the seventh run.

Johnny Damon greeted reliever Brian Stokes with an RBI double off the left-field wall, and after an Alex Rodriguez double play brought in the ninth run, Cano put an exclamation point on the pounding with a two-run homer, part of a three-hit game for the second baseman.

"The team overall was able to stay compact with their swings and see clearly strikes and balls, especially in that inning when we scored nine runs," Matsui said through an interpreter.

Melky Cabrera completed the frame with a two-run double. The start tied Santana's shortest career outing, which came on Sept. 26, 2007, when Santana pitched for the Twins at Detroit.

"There's no doubt about how dominating he's been over the years," said Nick Swisher, who walked twice in the fourth inning. "The back of his baseball card definitely proves that. To do that against him, that doesn't happen very often. It's never happened."

With later scoring off Stokes and Jon Switzer, Cano and Damon each finished with three RBIs, while rookie catcher Francisco Cervelli and Cano logged three hits apiece.

"I just go up there and try to hit the ball -- move the runners," said Cervelli, for whom the three knocks were a career high. "Whatever sign they put up, I just try to do that. The first thing for me is catching and calling the game. If I get three hits every time, it's better."

Mets manager Jerry Manuel wasn't around to see the end, having been ejected in the sixth inning for arguing a called third strike on David Wright.

And maybe that was for the best -- the 15 runs were a season high for the Yankees and produced their largest shutout win since Game 1 of a doubleheader on Sept. 25, 1977, at Toronto, also a 15-0 victory. It was the club's largest shutout win at home since Aug. 4, 1953, against the Tigers.

"You should have heard us in there -- it was wild," Burnett said, gesturing toward an off-limits area of the clubhouse. "It was just a good all-around day. We came out swinging the bats and made a lot of defensive plays."

The series victory came days after the Yankees were swept in a three-game series at Fenway Park in Boston, falling to 0-8 this year against their blood rivals.

But after taking advantage of a lucky 9-8 win on Friday before getting shut down by the anonymous Fernando Nieve in Saturday's 6-2 loss, the Yankees said the page was completely turned on those defeats.

"I think we forgot about the Red Sox thing once it was over," Swisher said. "What are you going to do, turn back the hands of time and go play those games over again? You can't. What's done is done. You've got to look forward to tomorrow."

Burnett limited the Mets to four hits over seven innings, walking four and striking out eight before David Robertson and Phil Hughes finished up.

After the game, Burnett lauded the pitch-calling contributions of Cervelli, a 23-year-old from Venezuela who has been touted as a defensive standout but contributed surprising offense.

"I think it's just a matter of that we used everything today," Burnett said. "I don't know if it's the catcher, but we used curveballs and fastballs in good counts. They had no idea what was coming, and that's huge. If I'd miss with a hook, he'd call another one. We didn't stay in a pattern."

Burnett appeared poised to give a 4-0 lead back in the third inning, when he walked two and allowed a hit to the bottom of the order. But Burnett struck out both Alex Cora and Fernando Martinez swinging before getting Carlos Beltran to line to shortstop, stranding the bases loaded.

"You don't want to see someone put themselves in that kind of jam, where he walked a couple of guys and they had a base hit, but he went to work," Girardi said. "That seemed to be the difference in the game. If he doesn't get out of that inning, I'm not sure what happens."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.