The New York Mets won a tight 2-0 game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night in the first of a four game series at Citi Field, and Mets starter Jenrry Mejia was the star of the game.
The young righty pitched a gem for New York, throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings, striking out seven batters, and walking three. Third baseman David Wright and catcher Travis d’Arnaud drove in the two Mets runs on RBI singles. Before the game the Mets announced they had sent down outfielder Andrew Brown to AAA Las Vegas and recalled 40-year-old veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu.
Both the Cardinals and Mets were held scoreless for the first two innings. After the Cardinals were retired in the top of the third, shortstop Ruben Tejada struck out to start the bottom half of the inning. Mejia struck out swinging on three pitches, but left fielder Eric Young Jr. singled to left for the Mets first hit of the night. Cardinals pitcher Tyler Lyons hit Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson, putting runners at first and second with two outs. David Wright then blooped a single to left scoring Young Jr., making it 1-0 Mets, and advancing Granderson to second. Centerfielder Chris Young then struck out to end the inning.
After Mejia retired the Cardinals 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy singled to left leading off the bottom of the fourth, but was quickly erased on a groundball double play hit into by first baseman Josh Satin. Travis d’Arnaud crushed a pitch off the right field wall for a double. Ruben Tejada was intentionally walked, and Mejia struck out to end the inning.
Mejia walked Peralta to start the top of the fifth, Tejada made a diving stop. He then tossed the ball with his glove to Daniel Murphy who barehanded it and threw to first completing a spectacular double play. Cardinals second baseman Mark Ellis hit a pop up into foul ground that Josh Satin easily caught to end the inning. The Mets were retired in order in the bottom fifth.
After Tyler Lyons struck out to start the sixth, Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter singled to right. Right fielder Allen Craig followed with his own single to right moving Carpenter over to third. Mejia settled down by getting left fielder Matt Holliday to pop out to second base (Holliday slammed his bat down twice in frustration). First baseman Matt Adams followed with a weak ground ball to second to end the inning.
Chris Young hit a ball back to the pitcher Lyons, who threw to first, but pulled Adams off the bag and Young was safe. Daniel Murphy walked, moving Young over to second. Lyons bounced a ball that catcher Yadier Molina blocked.
Young hesitated but ran towards third and was gunned down by Molina. Josh Satin walked, moving Murphy to second. Murphy was nearly thrown out at third trying to steal the base, but got under the tag. Travis d’Arnaud blooped a single to center scoring Murphy giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. Ruben Tejada hit a broken bat single to center loading the bases. Mejia hit a fly ball to left field but not enough to score the slow-footed Satin from third. Eric Young Jr. flew out to center to end the inning.
Mejia got two quick outs to start the top of the seventh. Molina hit a fly ball to center for the first out and Jhonny Peralta flied to right for out number two. But after allowing back-to-back walks to John Jay and Mark Ellis, Mejia’s night was done. In came lefty specialist Scott Rice to face pinch-hitter, outfielder, Shane Robinson. Robinson hit a grounder to third, and was thrown out to end the Cardinal threat.
The Mets were held scoreless in the bottom of the seventh. Rice struck out Matt Carpenter to start the top of the eighth, but in came Carlos Torres. Adam Craig lined a ball that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. But Torres settled down and struck out both Matt Holliday and Matt Adams to get out of the inning.
New York’s bats were retired in the bottom of the eighth. Newly appointed closer Kyle Farnsworth came in and immediately allowed a single to Yadier Molina. Molina was erased on a double play, David Wright threw to second to force Molina and Daniel Murphy threw to first to complete the double play. John Jay then hit an easy groundball to second for the last out of the game.
Mejia improved his record to 3-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.99. The Mets and Cardinals return to action tomorrow night when Dillon Gee squares off against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
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