The New York Mets took over second place in the National League East, behind only the Atlanta Braves, as they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.
It was a pitcher’s duel between Mets veteran starter Bartolo Colon and Cardinals starter Lance Lynn. Colon got the victory for the Mets, going seven innings allowing just one run on four hits, no walks and eight strikeouts, tossing three perfect innings to start the game. Centerfielder Chris Young hit his first home run as a Met, a solo shot. The Mets improved their record to 12-10.
Both pitchers were dominant from the start of the game, Bartolo Colon threw three perfect innings, and Lance Lynn allowed just one hit, a single to shortstop Ruben Tejada, in his first three innings. Neither team scored in the fourth inning as Colon allowed just one hit and Lynn allowed just one walk.
Colon started the top of the fifth inning by striking out both first baseman Adam Craig and shortstop Danny Descalso. Second baseman Kolten Wong singled to left, and catcher Tony Cruz doubled in the gap in left-center scoring Wong giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Lance Lynn reached on a throwing error by Colon, advancing Cruz over to third, but third baseman Matt Carpenter struck out to end the inning.
Chris Young led off the bottom half of the fifth with a home run, blasting it into the second deck in left field, tying the game at 1-1. Bobby Abreu, making his first start as a Met in right field, followed by lining a double down the left field line. Unfortunately the Mets could not bring Abreu home. Catcher Anthony Recker and Ruben Tejada both struck out, and Bartolo Colon hit a dribbler in front of the catcher and was thrown out at first to end the inning.
The Cardinals went 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Left fielder Eric Young Jr. hit a groundball to Lance Lynn to start the bottom of the sixth, but Lynn threw the ball away allowing Young Jr. to advance to second on the error. Second baseman Daniel Murphy skied a ball to centerfield, falling in near the diving John Jay for a double, scoring Young Jr. giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. Third baseman David Wright was hit by a pitch, putting runners at first and second with no outs. But first baseman Lucas Duda struck out looking, Chris Young popped out to short, and Bobby Abreu rolled a ground ball to first for the final out of the sixth.
The Cardinals failed to score in the top of the seventh. Anthony Recker led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk, and Ruben Tejada laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Recker over to second. Curtis Granderson, who was given the day off by manager Terry Collins, was called to pinch-hit for Bartolo Colon. Cardinals manager Mike Matheney made a double switch, replacing Kolton Wang with Mark Ellis at second base and replacing Lance Lynn with Kevin Siegrist.
Granderson blooped a single into shallow right field, scoring Recker extending the Mets lead to 3-1, but Granderson was tagged out trying to advance to second on the play. Eric Young Jr. followed with a ball that fell in the gap in right-center and rolled all the way to the wall for a triple. Daniel Murphy then singled to left, scoring Young Jr., increasing the Mets lead to 4-1. Siegrest was replaced by young hard-throwing righty Carlos Martinez who got David Wright to pop up to second for the final out.
Carlos Torres, working his fourth game in five days, came on to pitch the top of eighth inning for the Mets. Torres walked Mark Ellis to start the inning for the Cardinals. Matt Carpenter grounded into a fielder’s choice and Ellis was forced out at second. John Jay flied out to center for the second out, but Matt Holliday walked to put runners at first and second with two outs. With his pitch count at around 30 pitches Torres was pulled and replaced by lefty-specialist Scott Rice. Matt Adams hit a weak groundball back to Rice for the final out of the inning.
The Mets went in order in the bottom of the eighth. Daisuke Matsuzaka was called to get the save for the Mets. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who pinch-hit for Rice in the bottom of the eighth, stayed in to replace Chris Young in centerfield. Adam Craig lined out to right to start the top of the ninth inning. Danny Descalso struck out swinging for out number two. Outfielder Peter Bourjos was called to pinch-hit for Eric Fontano who pitched the eighth inning for St. Louis. Bourjos hit a pop up into foul ground that Anthony Recker caught to end the game, giving Dice-K his first career major league save.
The Mets return to action tomorrow evening at Citi Field when Mets starter Zack Wheeler faces off against Henderson Alverez and the Miami Marlins.
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