NEW YORK - Johan Santana didn't think the additional days off after his no-hitter had anything to do with his problems against the New York Yankees' potent offense.
Still, manager Terry Collins took the blame.
Pitching on two extra days of rest after throwing a career-high 134 pitches in his previous start, Santana gave up a career-worst four home runs in the New York Mets' 9-1 loss to the Yankees on Friday night.
"For all the people who thought I didn't make the right decision a week ago, because of that decision I thought he needed some extra rest and I'm also responsible for the way he pitched tonight," Collins said. "He was rusty, command of his stuff was not as sharp as the last four or five starts.
"It's my doing tonight," the Mets' manager added.
To protect his surgically repaired left shoulder, Santana (3-3) was given extra rest after pitching the franchise's first no-hitter last Friday night against St. Louis. But he didn't have it this time, giving up a pair of homers to Robinson Cano in the Mets' fourth loss in five games.
Cano ended Santana's bid for a second straight no-hitter with a two-run shot in the second, then connected again in the third to begin a string of three consecutive home runs by the Yankees.
"A couple of extra days and I felt fine," Santana said. "I just didn't have my feeling for a couple of my pitches. There were times when they stayed up and when you leave pitches up, you know, they're a pretty good team and in this ballpark, you keep pitches up, they end up out of the park, and that's what happened."
Hiroki Kuroda was sharp for the Yankees, allowing one hit in seven scoreless innings before leaving with a bruised left foot. In the first Subway Series matchup of the season, Kuroda (5-6) gave up only a two-out double in the sixth to Omar Quintanilla.
The right-hander's first appearance in the crosstown rivalry was cut short when Daniel Murphy scorched a liner off the pitcher's foot, eliciting "oohs" from the crowd of 48,566 — just the second sellout at Yankee Stadium this season. The ball popped up high and was caught by third baseman Alex Rodriguez for the final out of the seventh.
Kuroda limped off the field and down into the clubhouse, followed by several teammates and trainers. He left the clubhouse on crutches.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi wasn't sure whether Kuroda will make his next start.
"I think any time you get hit in the foot like that you have to be somewhat concerned," Girardi said.
Cody Eppley worked the eighth and former Mets reliever Ryota Igarashi gave up an RBI double to Lucas Duda in the ninth in his Yankees debut before finishing the two-hitter.
The Yankees improved to 50-35 against the Mets in the regular season.
Santana is 0-3 with a 12.21 ERA in three starts at the new Yankee Stadium.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner was electrifying at the start, getting Derek Jeter to awkwardly flail at a changeup for the first out and fooling Mark Teixeira for a called third strike to end the first inning.
It fell apart quickly in the second. Santana walked Rodriguez leading off, his last two pitches missing badly. Cano lined the next pitch into the right-field seats for the first runs off Santana since May 21, three starts ago. He had a scoreless streak of 19 innings.
Rodriguez singled with two outs in the third. Cano then set off a barrage of long balls in an 11-pitch span with a drive into the second deck in right, again on a first pitch, for his eighth multihomer game.
Nick Swisher followed with a liner to left field and Andruw Jones hit a high-arcing drive to left for a 6-0 lead. It was the first time Santana allowed three homers in a row.
"That's a guy you want to go and be aggressive because you don't want to get behind the count," Cano said of swinging at the first pitch on both homers. "He's got some great pitches."
There was no need to worry about a pitch count for Santana. He was lifted after five innings, having allowed six runs and seven hits. He threw 86 pitches.
Kuroda had a poor history against the Mets, going 1-5 with a 5.75 ERA against them with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This time he had the Mets flailing at a slider that fooled lefties and righties. There wasn't a hard-hit ball until Quintanilla's double. The most difficult play came after Josh Thole reached on Jeter's error at shortstop. David Wright broke his bat near the handle, sending much of it spiraling toward Rodriguez, while hitting a grounder to third. A-Rod calmly fielded the ball and started a double play as the bat soared over his head.
Kuroda has made three solid starts in a row, giving up just two runs in 22 innings. This time he struck out seven and walked one.
Swisher had an RBI double and Jones a run-scoring single in a three-run seventh.
NOTES: Jason Bay went 0 for 3 in his return to the Mets' lineup. He had not played since April 23 because of a broken rib. ... The Mets signed first-round draft pick Gavin Cecchini, giving him a $2.3 million bonus. The 18-year-old high school shortstop from Lake Charles, La., was selected 12th overall Monday night.
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