The New York Mets late rally fizzled against the St. Louis Cardinals as they lost by a final score of 5-2. Mets lefty ace Jonathon Niese took the loss dropping to 3-4 on the year.
It was the first time in 17 starts Niese allowed more than two earned runs. The lefty veteran pitched six innings allowing five runs, three of which were earned, eight hits, three strike outs and one walk. Cardinal left-handed rookie starter Michael Wacha picked up the win improving to 5-5. Wacha tossed six innings, allowing just one run on five hits, striking out seven batters while walking two. Reliever Pat Neshek notched his second save of the season. Right fielder Jon Jay was the star of the game for St. Louis, going 2-5 with an RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth.
The Mets were retired in order in the top of the first and the Cardinals failed to score in the bottom of the first. Right fielder Bobby Abreu grounded out to second to start the second inning. First baseman Lucas Duda followed by blooping a ball into left field. Duda raced around first and landed safely at second without a throw. Catcher Anthony Recker walked, but shortstop Ruben Tejada struck out swinging and Jon Niese grounded back to Michael Wacha retiring the side.
Leading off the bottom of the second, catcher Yadier Molina lined a shot that hit off the top of the wall in left field for a home run, giving the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead. Shortstop Jhonny Peralta then flied out to right and second baseman Mark Ellis grounded out to short. Third baseman Daniel Descalso followed with a single up the middle. Michael Wacha grounded back to Niese to end the inning. Both teams went 1-2-3 in the third inning.
Third baseman David Wright golfed a shot into the left field seats to start the top of the third, tying the game at 1-1. Bobby Abreu flied out to left; Lucas Duda popped out to second and Anthony Recker struck out swinging to retire the side. The Cardinals failed to score in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth Ruben Tejada lined out to left to lead off. Jon Niese then struck out looking for the second out. Left fielder Eric Young Jr. lined a single to right, and centerfielder Curtis Granderson ripped a double to right, putting both runners in scoring position. Daniel Murphy then struck out swinging to retire the side.
Niese hit Daniel Descalso by a pitch to start the bottom of the fifth. Michael Wacha then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Descalso to second. Centerfielder Peter Burjos struck out swinging for the second out. Right fielder Jon Jay then hit a hard grounder past a diving Lucas Duda at first and the ball rolled all the way into the right field corner. Descalso scored to make it 2-1 St. Louis. Jay sprinted his way to third with a triple. Matt Holliday then ripped a double down the right field line, scoring Jay to extend the Cardinals lead to 3-1. First baseman Allen Craig struck out swinging to end the inning.
David Wright led off the top of the sixth with a double to left. Bobby Abreu followed by lining out to left, but failed to advance Wright over to third. Lucas Duda walked, but Anthony Recker flied out to center, moving Wright to third and Ruben Tejada struck out swinging to retire the side.
Yadier Molina started the bottom half of the sixth with a fly out to left. Jhonny Peralta then hit a pitch to the gap in right center, and the ball bounced up over the wall for a ground-rule double. Mark Ellis lined out to left for the second out. Danny Descalso hit a soft liner towards second base. Daniel Murphy failed to field the ball cleanly. Murphy gathered the ball, threw to first but not in time and Descalso was safe. Peralta advanced to third on the play. Infielder Kolten Wong lined a single to center, scoring Peralta and stretching St. Louis’ lead to 4-1. Descalso moved to third. Wong immediately stole second base. Peter Burjos then reached on an infield single to short. Descalso scored to make it 5-1, and Wong moved to third on the play. Jon Jay then grounded out to short to end the inning. Both teams failed to score in the next two innings with the Mets being retired in order in both the top of the seventh and eighth.
Cardinals closer Jason Motte entered to shut the door on the Mets in the top of the ninth. Lucas Duda launched the second pitch of the inning into the seats in right field for a home run, cutting the Cardinals lead to 5-2. Utility player Eric Campbell pinch-hit for Anthony Recker and hit a double up into the stands in right for a ground-rule double. Motte was pulled after just four pitches (it was just Mottes’ second outing since his return from Tommy John Surgery which caused him to miss the entire 2013 season) and in came reliever Pat Neshek. Ruben Tejada then grounded back to Neshek, Matt den Dekker flied out to left, and Eric Young Jr. flied out to center to end the game.
The Mets look to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon when Bartolo Colon toes the rubber for the Mets against veteran Lance Lynn for the Cardinals.