(Reuters) - Johan Santana of the New York Mets and Miami's Josh Johnson went toe-to-toe in a taut pitchers duel but neither starter picked up the win as the Mets' bullpen carried the home team to a 2-1 win on Tuesday.
Johnson and two-times Cy Young winner Santana each allowed just one run and three hits over 6 2/3 innings. Santana registered 11 strikeouts while Johnson had nine.
Miami's Johnson exited the game with a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning, only to watch his relievers walk in the game-tying run moments later.
Miami's bullpen then found trouble in the eighth where Lucas Duda hit an infield RBI single for the winning run.
Santana's pitching reinforcements were more dependable, blanking the Mets over their remaining 2 1/3 innings. Jon Rauch (3-0) pitched the eighth to pick up the win and Frank Francisco worked the ninth for his fourth save as the Mets won for the first time in three games.
"That's what, for me, your big pitchers do," Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters. "They stop losing streaks. And they go out there and give you what you've got to get to give you a chance to win the game."
The game marked the return of Jose Reyes to New York, where he spent his first nine seasons before signing with Miami in the offseason, but he finished 0-for-4 in an uneventful homecoming.
"It's just a matter of time," said Reyes, who has started the season batting a disappointing .215. "Right now, we aren't swinging the bat the way that we want to, especially me. I'm the guy you want on base."
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)