Opening a three game series in Detroit, the Yankees got a win in, taking the Tigers down, 9-4, on the strength of Curtis Granderson's second inning grand slam, that put New York ahead by a 5-1 score, a lead they would not relinquish.
Sabathia held the Tigers to three runs over seven innings, then a parade of five relievers finished up the final two innings. Alex Rodriguez provided insurance with a two-run blast in the ninth.
Granderson is tied for second in the home run department with Edgar Encarnacion and Adam Dunn. They all are chasing Texas' Josh Hamilton, who leads the majors with 21 bombs.
The win left the Yankees just 1 1/2 games behind the Rays in the AL East, Tampa Bay topped the Orioles, 5-0, to take sole command of first place in the division.
Santana, coming back off a year in which he didn't throw a single pitch in the majors and had major reconstructive surgery, threw 134 pitches, even though his pitch count was not supposed to exceed 110 to 115, but manager Terry Collins let his star continue as long as the no-hitter was intact.
Santana, doing what Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Dwight Gooden, David Cone and a panoply of Mets pitchers could not, struck out eight and walked five for the historic no-no.
While his performance was not always pretty, and was aided by a blown call on a ball struck by Carlos Beltran that nipped the chalk on the third base line but was called foul, plus a seventh inning heroic catch by Mike Baxter on a Yadier Molina drive to the wall in left field. Baxter crashed into the wall and was forced to leave the game with an injured shoulder.
The Mets scored two runs in the fourth inning and three each in the sixth and seventh for the 8-0 victory.
Santana, who broke into the majors with Minnesota in 2000, threw his second straight shutout. He held the Padres to four hits and struck out seven on May 26.
The victory left the Mets tied with Miami in second place in the NL East, a game behind the Nationals, as the Marlins lost to the Phillies, 6-4, and the Nationals' meeting with Atlanta was postponed due to rain in the nation's capitol.