For the second straight game, the Royals and Mets went into extra innings Saturday. That's not surprising for the two teams that lead the Major Leagues in one-run games.
After their nine-game winning streak was snapped Friday with a 4-2 loss, the Royals bounced back with a 4-3 win in 12 innings Saturday to even the series.
The Royals will turn to Ervin Santana in Sunday's rubber game against Mets rookie Zack Wheeler.
Santana's starts have been quite fruitful for the Royals lately as they've won seven of the last 10 with him on the mound. He's 7-6 with a 3.03 ERA and he has been dominant out of the break, allowing just three runs off 13 hits and going 2-0 in three starts. He also has 17 strikeouts and just four walks in 22 1/3 innings.
"He's the magic man, he's awesome," third baseman Mike Moustakas said after Santana's last start. "Anytime he goes out on the mound, you know he's going to deal. He's going to keep them under two runs."
After the Mets' 11-inning walk-off win Friday, the rotation spun forward when they brought Carlos Torres in for the end of the game. That set Jeremy Hefner to start Saturday and moved Wheeler up to Sunday to face the Royals in the series finale.
Wheeler is 4-1 with a 3.55 ERA and he's coming off a start in Miami in which he took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning Wednesday. He allowed two runs on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts over seven innings.
The Mets will need some more steady work from Wheeler with All-Star third baseman David Wright on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain. For now, manager Terry Collins is looking for fill-ins from the current roster like Justin Turner, who started in Wright's place Saturday.
"David Wright's a star and you're going to miss his presence in the lineup," Collins said. "Any team that loses their No. 1 player, it's a huge hole to fill. You're not going to expect whoever's going to step in there, somebody's got to hit third on this team. That's another hole to fill."
Josh Satin batted third and went 2-for-5 with two RBIs on Saturday. He'll split third-base duties with Turner.
Mets: Feliciano doing well since return
• Pedro Feliciano got Alex Gordon to ground out on Friday and then pitched a scoreless eighth Saturday against the Royals to stay perfect in his first two appearances since having his contract selected.
Though he ranks second in team history with 461 appearances, Friday was his first Major League appearance since Oct. 2, 2010. He posted a 1.29 ERA in 22 Minor League games this season with Triple-A Las Vegas, Double-A Binghamton and high Class A St. Lucie.
Royals: Pitchers leading the way
• The pitching staff is second in the American League with a 3.64 staff ERA, just behind Oakland at 3.63.
Friday night's 4-2 walk-off loss was the first time since July 22 that the Royals had allowed more than three runs. In that span, the starters are 7-0 with a 1.79 ERA.
They've also held their own on offense, going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt through the first two games. Royals pitchers are 5-for-17 this season.
• Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy leads the National League with 14 RBIs since the All-Star break.
• Justin Maxwell hit his first home run with the Royals in the 12th inning Saturday to give his club the lead in a 4-3 victory. He was acquired from the Astros on Wednesday.
Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.