Mets' offense strong again as Santana collects first home win

NEW YORK (AP) -- The refrain was the same from almost everyone in the Mets' clubhouse: Offensively, we're coming together.

And how.

Carlos Beltran hit a bases-loaded triple and drove in five runs, and Carlos Delgado and Brian Schneider hit New York's first back-to-back homers of the season to back Johan Santana's first home win for the Mets, a 12-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Saturday.

David Wright broke out of a 1-for-13 slump with two hits and three runs, helping the Mets score 12 times for the second consecutive game. Moises Alou had two RBIs and New York began a seven-game homestand -- a day after rain postponed the opener -- against last-place teams with an all-around offensive effort despite being outhit 15-12 by the Reds.

"We got some contributions from everybody," manager Willie Randolph said. "We're a much better club than we've shown and played."

In the nightcap, Bronson Arroyo pitched eight dominant innings and Jeff Keppinger had a career-high five hits, lifting Cincinnati to a 7-1 victory.

Randolph started Santana in the opener instead of Mike Pelfrey, Friday's scheduled starter, because "I like to get my best going first," he said. Santana, who was bothered by allergies and didn't have his best changeup, matched a career high by giving up 10 hits, though he never was in serious trouble until the sixth, when he needed 38 pitches to get out of the inning.

"Allergies have been bothering me, but it's no excuse," Santana said. "My eyes, my nose, I battled through and we were able to win. ... When I see my team hitting balls and scoring runs you feel good."

Ken Griffey Jr. went 2-for-5, missing his 598th home run by inches when he hit a drive off the top of the wall in the eighth inning for a two-run double. He and Brandon Phillips, who bruised his left calf Wednesday, were in the lineup to face Santana rather than play in the nightcap because Reds manager Dusty Baker said, "When you're a star you face stars."

But Griffey's performance might have earned him a spot in the nightcap: "That's as good as I've seen him swing, so I think so," Baker said.

Santana (4-2) allowed Edwin Encarnacion's eighth homer in the fourth inning and scattered five other hits through five. But he gave up four hits in the sixth, including a leadoff triple to Phillips and RBI singles to Encarnacion and pinch-hitter Scott Hatteberg. Santana has allowed 10 hits in a game five times, most recently on Aug. 29 for the Twins at Cleveland. The left-hander walked one and struck out five.

"At one point when I looked up at the scoreboard and we had 10 hits and two or three runs, and they had 10 hits and 10 runs, or something like that. The game should have been a lot closer than it was," Baker said. "That's rare, it's real rare."

Alou scored the Mets' first run on Matt Belisle's wild pitch, and New York scored twice in the fifth to build a 6-1 lead after Belisle (1-3) committed a two-base throwing error on Luis Castillo's leadoff tapper.

"I looked up the line and Castillo was closer than I thought and I just kind of slung it from the side," Belisle said. "It was just an unacceptable bad error. There's nothing else I can say."

Beltran's triple off reliever Mike Lincoln in the sixth made it 10-3. The slugger had an RBI single in the third and a sacrifice fly in the fifth for his first RBIs since April 26.

"You can tell when a guy is ready to click. He was reacting short and quick -- two things I look for," Randolph said.

Beltran has noticed a big difference in his at-bats, saying that his approach at the plate is better now, keeping his hands in on his swings.

"Maybe two weeks ago I would have pulled the ball foul," Beltran said of his triple to right field.

Delgado homered off Lincoln with one out in the seventh, his fifth, and Schneider followed with his first of the season.

After beginning the day with a .216 average, Delgado had three hits from the No. 7 spot in the order, missing the cycle by a triple. It was the first time he batted that low since Sept. 30, 1995, with Toronto against the New York Yankees, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Delgado and Randolph didn't see his spot in the batting order as an issue or as the catalyst for his breakout game. Randolph said he has "seen this coming for a week and a half." Delgado, who has at least one hit in seven straight games, has been "feeling pretty good at the plate the last few days," he said.

Belisle gave up six runs -- five earned -- and seven hits in five innings.

Game notes
The Mets and Reds last played a doubleheader on May 19, 1998, and the Mets won both games at Shea Stadium. ... Griffey hasn't homered in 55 at-bats. ... Delgado is 10-for-27 (.370) during his hitting streak. ... It's the first time the Mets have scored 24 runs in a two-game span since July 8-9, 2006, against Florida.