Hector Santiago was totally ready to trade zeros with New York Mets sensation Matt Harvey.
Santiago did his part, throwing seven sharp innings. But the Chicago White Sox managed just one baserunner Tuesday night and lost to the Mets 1-0 in the 10th.
"I was definitely amped up in the first and second innings. I tried to go out and match what he was doing," Santiago said.
"I knew that as the game wore on, all eyes would be on this game because of the perfect game."
Harvey set down the first 20 batters, and an infield single by Alex Rios with two outs in the seventh marked Chicago's lone breakthrough.
Santiago permitted four singles, struck out eight and walked two. He also drew a few cheers from the crowd, having grown up as a Mets fan in nearby Newark, N.J.
"Santiago was excited to pitch in Citi Field tonight. He had about 60 people in the stands and was overthrowing at first, but as he got tired, he got better," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.
Harvey struck out a career-high 12 and was pulled when the game went to extra innings.
"Harvey was as advertised tonight," Ventura said. "He was as dominant as anyone they've seen. He's (Justin) Verlander-like — he has velocity, movement and his presence is as good as advertised."
Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter lined an RBI single with one out in the 10th off Nate Jones (0-3).
Mets reliever Bobby Parnell (3-0) struck out two in a perfect 10th.
It was a most rare interleague matchup. Because of schedule quirks, the Mets and White Sox had played just three prior games since AL vs. NL action began in 1997. Only Texas and St. Louis have met so infrequently — they've played three games in the regular season, plus seven in the 2011 World Series.
It was nearly historic, too.
Harvey neared a no-hitter for the second time this season. He held Minnesota hitless for 6 2-3 innings on April 13 until Justin Morneau homered off the foul pole.
The White Sox hadn't come close to a hit when Rios hit a grounder in the hole in the seventh. The crowd instantly gasped, sensing trouble.
Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada did his best, gloving the ball on the edge of the infield dirt and making a jump throw. First baseman Ike Davis made a long stretch and caught the ball cleanly, but Rios was safe by a shade. The fans groaned when first base umpire Mark Carlson correctly called him safe.
"He threw me a slider, middle-away and I just rolled over it. My job was to get to first base so we could try and score a run," Rios said.
Davis drew a leadoff walk in the 10th and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Juan Lagares. Baxter batted for Parnell and singled into the right-field corner.
The White Sox had never visited the Mets since interleague play began. The White Sox had played in Queens, however — most recently on Aug. 21, 1975, when they beat the Yankees at Shea Stadium. That was during a two-year period when the Yankees moved into the Mets' ballpark while Yankee Stadium was being remodeled.
The only previous Mets-White Sox series was in Chicago in June 2002. Paul Konerko homered three times in those three games while current White Sox coach Joe McEwing played for the Mets.
Ventura helped the Mets reach the 2000 World Series and said before the game "there's good feelings coming in here." Mets owner Fred Wilpon, former Mets teammate John Franco and several stadium workers greeted Ventura on the field during batting practice.
NOTES: Konerko got a day off and Dunn played first. ... There was a brief delay in the sixth when Santiago was due up. He wasn't ready to bat and plate umpire Dan Iassogna went over to the dugout to get him. Santiago came trotting to the plate. ... The Mets visit the White Sox for two games in late June. ... White Sox RHP Jake Peavy, scratched from two starts because of back spasms, is set to start Wednesday night vs. Mets RHP Jeremy Hefner. Santiago had been starting in Peavy's place.