Angel Pagan Hits Walk-Off Home Run In 10th Inning; Mets Edge Cards 6-5

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Mets-Cardinals Score: Cards Avoid Sweep With 6-2 Win

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) – Albert Pujols clubbed a two-run homer and Jake Westbrook tossed eight solid innings, as the St. Louis Cardinals avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-2 victory over the New York Mets at Citi Field.

Westbrook (8-4) allowed two runs on four hits with one walk for the Cardinals, who snapped their losing streak at three games.

“Jake worked fast and obviously he made some good pitches today,” Pujols said.

New York starter Jon Niese (9-8) gave up five runs — three earned — on five hits in six innings to absorb the loss, the sixth in the last nine games for the Mets.

St. Louis grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Pujols followed a one- out double by Jon Jay with his 21st home run of the season, a blast to left field.

Westbrook retired the first nine batters he faced before Jose Reyes opened the fourth inning with his MLB-leading 16th triple. Reyes then scored on a groundout by Justin Turner.

The Cardinals capitalized on some defensive miscues to go up 5-1 in the fifth. After Daniel Descalso stroked a one-out double and Niese walked Westbrook, Lucas Duda fielded a grounder hit by Nick Punto. But the New York first baseman struck Westbrook on the left shoulder with the throw, which enabled Descalso to cross the plate.

Jay then scored Westbrook with a grounder up the middle that deflected off second base. Punto hustled home when center fielder Angel Pagan decided to throw to an unoccupied first base.

“We’ve got to catch the baseball. We can not throw the ball around and win games,” said Mets manager Terry Collins.

A run-scoring single by Jason Pridie trimmed New York’s deficit to three in the eighth.

Pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker added an RBI single off Mets reliever Manny Acosta in the ninth.

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Mets Vs. Cardinals: WIll This Be Beltran's Last Home Game As A Met?

(Sports Network) – With New York set to end July on a 10-game road trip, the possibility remains that Carlos Beltran could be playing his last home game as a Met this afternoon.

If that is the case, the outfielder will try to give the Citi Field crowd something to remember him by, specifically a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the final season of a seven-year, $119 million free agent deal signed with the Mets prior to the 2005 season, Beltran’s name has been consistent in the rumor mill leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. New York has already parted ways with one expensive roster member, dealing closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers on July 12.

After being limited to just 64 games last year due to injury, and 81 contests in 2009, Beltran is hitting .293 with 15 homers and 61 RBI through 92 games this season. He smashed a long two-run homer in last night’s 6-5 extra-inning victory, one game after both he and Jose Reyes (strained left hamstring) returned to the lineup after missing time.

Beltran had been out for a few games with the flu, but didn’t show any weakness at the plate. Neither did Angel Pagan, who gave New York its first and only lead of the game with a walk-off solo homer in the 10th inning.

“I was just trying to get something done for the team,” Pagan said. “I wasn’t looking for a home run. We’re just trying to win ballgames.”

Though Reyes and Beltran played, and third baseman David Wright may return tomorrow for the first time since May 15 due to a back injury, outfielder Jason Bay was forced to exit the contest in the fourth inning with a hamstring injury. Bay said it was more of a proactive move to come out, but it’s possible he could get the day off on Thursday.

Josh Thole finished with two hits and a pair of RBI for the Mets, who will try to sweep the Cardinals in three games for the first time since April 1-4, 2007 at St. Louis. It would also give New York its first winning streak of three straight contests since a four-game run from July 3-6.

The Mets and Cardinals split six meetings last year.

Matt Holliday registered three hits, two RBI and scored twice, including a go- ahead run in the eighth inning on Gerald Laird’s bunt towards third base. Thole, though, tied the game with an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the frame.

Thole returned to club after missing one day due to the birth of his first child on Tuesday night.

Jon Niese will try to pitch the Mets to the sweep today and pick up a third straight winning decision. He was victorious in his last trip to the mound on Saturday, holding the Phillies to a pair of runs — one earned — on six hits over seven innings of an 11-2 blowout.

The left-hander threw 69 of his 103 pitches for strikes and struck out at least six batters for a fourth straight start, improving to 9-7 with a 3.73 earned run average on the season.

Niese, 24, has faced the Cardinals twice in his career, going 1-0 while yielding just one run over 7 2/3 innings.

St. Louis, which has lost three straight and seven of 10, is two games back of first place in the National League Central and turns today to Jake Westbrook. The right-hander is 7-4 with a 5.26 ERA in 19 starts this year, but is a much more serviceable 5-2 with a 3.79 ERA in 10 road outings.

Westbrook, who hasn’t lost since June 12, has posted a pair of no-decisions over his last two outings, both versus the Reds. He was drilled for seven runs over 4 1/3 innings against them on July 6, but allowed just a pair of homers in five frames of a rematch at Cincinnati on Friday. The right-hander settled down nicely after allowing a homer in the first inning.

“I thought he did a terrific job,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “Leadoff home run, and after that, held them down.”

The 33-year-old lost his only other career start versus the Mets, getting drilled for five runs and 11 hits over seven innings last June 17 while with Cleveland.

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Mets-Cardinals Score: Angel Pagan Hits Walk-Off Home Run In 11th Inning; Mets Edge Cards 6-5

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) – The New York Mets never led against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday night until Angel Pagan won it in the bottom of the 10th inning with a solo home run to right field in a 6-5 victory at Citi Field.

It was Pagan’s fourth home run of the season for the Mets, who have won two straight and will look for a three-game sweep of the Cardinals on Thursday. Carlos Beltran, the subject of trade rumors with the deadline quickly approaching, belted a two-run homer in a winning effort.

Josh Thole finished with two hits, two RBI and a run scored, while veteran closer Jason Isringhausen was able to beat his former team with two scoreless innings of relief. He also tallied three strikeouts and was one of four relievers to take the hill in place of starter R.A. Dickey. Dickey did not figure into the decision and was reached for four runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings of work.

Matt Holliday registered three hits, two RBI and a pair of runs scored, as the Cardinals suffered their third straight loss and seventh in 10 tries. Gerald Laird had an RBI bunt and ended with two hits, while Skip Schumaker contributed two hits and two runs scored in defeat.

Cardinals starter Kyle McClellan didn’t have a great outing and allowed four runs and six hits in six innings for the no-decision. McClellan is still winless in his last eight starts (0-5).

The action started in the eighth inning with the score knotted at 4-4. Holliday singled leading off and took second on a heads-up play on the bases after Lance Berkman flied out to left field. Holliday kept his legs moving to third on a David Freese groundout and was joined on the base paths when Colby Rasmus drew an intentional walk.

Laird saw that Mets third baseman Daniel Murphy was playing deep and placed a perfect bunt down the line, enabling a hustling Holliday to come home for a 5-4 edge. The Mets, though, would tie it in the bottom of the eighth on Thole’s RBI single with two outs. Pagan got the inning started with a hit, advanced to second one out later and took third following Lucas Duda’s dribbler to the mound. Jason Motte then took the mound for Lance Lynn, but Thole greeted him by lacing a single to left field to score Pagan.

Pagan then made a winner out of Isringhausen (2-0) by sending Fernando Salas’ offering to the seats in right field. Salas (5-4) was dealt the loss.

“I was just trying to get something done for the team,” Pagan said. “I wasn’t looking for a home run. We’re just trying to win ballgames.”

New York may not have outfielder Jason Bay for Thursday’s series finale with St. Louis after he exited in the fourth inning with a hamstring injury. Willie Harris went 0-for-3 as Bay’s replacement. Bay said it was more of a proactive move to come out and will see how it feels Thursday.

The Cardinals held a seemingly comfortable 4-0 lead after three innings, but the Mets were able to cut the deficit in half by the bottom of the frame.

Schumaker led off the game with a double to right and was moved to third on Jon Jay’s sacrifice bunt. He then scored on Holliday’s sacrifice fly to center. Holliday’s RBI double and Berkman’s run-scoring single highlighted a three-run third inning for a four-run cushion.

New York pushed two runs across with no outs in the home third, when Duda singled leading off and raced home on Thole’s ensuing two-base hit. Dickey helped his own cause by plating Thole with a single for a 4-2 score.

Beltran laid into a McClellan pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning, sending an offering into the upper deck in right field to even the score. Dickey singled to start the inning and was out at second following Jose Reyes’ fielder’s choice. After Justin Turner went down swinging, Beltran clubbed his 15th homer to make it a 4-4 contest. Beltran returned from a three-day bout with the flu in Tuesday’s 4-2 win in the series opener.

“You tip your hat,” McClellan said of the homer. “He fouled off essentially a similar pitch right before that and then he didn’t foul that one off (on the homer).”

Albert Pujols pinch-hit for Jay in the top of the seventh with two outs and Daniel Descalso on third base, but Mets reliever Pedro Beato got the three- time NL MVP to pop out to end the inning. Pujols was not in the starting lineup and finished 0-for-2 with a strikeout for St. Louis, which is 1-4 on a nine-game road trip that concludes in Pittsburgh this weekend.

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Mets Vs. Cardinals: Mets Look To Move Back Above .500

(Sports Network) – The New York Mets try to move back above .500 this evening when they continue a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field.

In Tuesday’s opener, Jose Reyes returned to the lineup and went 2-for-5 with a run scored, helping the Mets take a 4-2 win.

Reyes had been on the disabled list since July 3, a day after he suffered a strained left hamstring while running to first base during a 5-2 loss to the Yankees.

In the final year of a contract, the 2011 All-Star raised his average to an MLB-leading .355.

“Anytime you win the game, it’s fun,” Reyes said. “I was able to move around on the field pretty good today.”

Also back in the lineup for New York was right fielder Carlos Beltran, who had missed the past three games with the flu. He had been on fire prior to the illness and he continued that on Tuesday, reaching base in all five plate appearances, going went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two walks and a run scored.

The return of those two helped make a winner out of Dillon Gee (9-3). The rookie snapped a two-start losing streak after throwing seven innings, in which he gave up just two runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

“The electricity he brings lifts the club,” Mets manager Terry Collins said of Beltran’s return. “He’s the number three guy, he gets back in there after he’d been out for three days with the flu and he walks up there like he hasn’t missed a beat.”

Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan each hit a two-run double for New York, which had lost five of its last six contests.

Lance Berkman hit a solo home run and scored twice for the Cardinals, who have dropped three of their last four.

Kyle Lohse’s (8-7) recent struggles continued, as he dropped his third straight start after giving up four runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He also drove in the other run for St. Louis.

The loss, combined with Pittsburgh’s 1-0 win over Cincinnati on Tuesday night, moved St. Louis to 1 1/2 games back of the surprising Pirates for first place in the NL Central.

St. Louis also went a 32nd straight game without a stolen base, the longest such streak for a major league team since the 1977 Indians went 35 in a row.

Getting the call for the Mets tonight will be veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who is 4-8 on the year with a 3.70 ERA. Dickey was charged with the loss on Friday against Philadelphia, as he allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings.

Dickey is 1-1 in four games (two starts) against the Cardinals with a 7.36 ERA.

St. Louis, meanwhile, will counter with righty Kyle McClellan, who has lost his last three starts and last five decisions. McClellan’s latest setback came on July 7 against Arizona, which reached him for four runs (three earned) and six hits in seven innings.

After opening the year with six wins in his first seven decisions, McClellan has fallen to 6-6 and has seen his ERA balloon to 4.24.

The Cards split their six matchups with the Mets last season.

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Mets-Cardinals Score: Return Of Reyes, Beltran Pay Immediate Dividends In 4-2 Win

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) – Jose Reyes returned to the lineup Tuesday night and went 2-for-5 with a run scored, helping the New York Mets take a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series.

Reyes had been on the disabled list since July 3, a day after he suffered a strained left hamstring while running to first base during a 5-2 loss to the Yankees.

In the final year of a contract, the 2011 All-Star raised his average to an MLB-leading .355.

Also back in the lineup for New York was right fielder Carlos Beltran, who had missed the past three games with the flu. He had been on fire prior to the illness and he continued that on Tuesday, reaching base in all five plate appearances. He went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two walks and a run scored.

The return of those two helped make a winner out of Dillon Gee (9-3). The rookie snapped a two-start losing streak after throwing seven innings, in which he gave up just two runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan each hit a two-run double for New York, which had lost five of its last six contests.

Lance Berkman hit a solo home run and scored twice for the Cardinals, who have dropped three of their last four.

Kyle Lohse’s (8-7) recent struggles continued, as he dropped his third straight start after giving up four runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He also drove in the other run for St. Louis.

The loss, combined with Pittsburgh’s 1-0 win over Cincinnati on Tuesday night, moved St. Louis to 1 1/2 games back of the surprising Pirates for first place in the NL Central.

After the Mets stranded runners on second and third in the fourth, the Cardinals went ahead in the fifth. With one out, Berkman walked and David Freese followed with a single that hit off of Gee. After Yadier Molina flied out, Lohse helped his own cause with a single to center for a 1-0 advantage.

Lohse gave it right back, though, in the bottom of the frame. Reyes and Justin Turner hit consecutive singles and Beltran walked to load the bases with no outs. After Murphy lined out to short, Pagan doubled to right to plate two runners.

The pitcher was able to limit the damage as he struck out Jason Bay and, after walking Lucas Duda to again load the bases, got Ronny Paulino to line out and end the frame with the Mets ahead 2-1.

However, the Mets plated two more in the sixth on a two-out rally. Turner kept the frame alive with a single and Beltran followed with walk to chase Lohse from the game.

Raul Valdes stepped onto the hill and promptly served up a double to Murphy that scored both runners for a 4-1 lead. Pagan flied out to end the frame.

The Cardinals got one back in the seventh on a one-out homer to right-center from Berkman.

St. Louis wasted a golden opportunity in the eighth off of reliever Bobby Parnell as they team loaded the bases with one out. Albert Pujols stepped to the plate with a chance to do some damage, but hit into a 6-3 double play.

The Cardinals went down quietly in the ninth as Jason Isringhausen picked up his first save of the season.

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Mets Vs. Cardinals: Reyes, Beltran Return To Lineup

(Sports Network) - The New York Mets expect to have Jose Reyes back in the lineup this evening when they open a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field.

Reyes has been on the disabled list since July 3 with a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring. The speedster suffered the injury beating out an infield single the day before.

He played in a rehab assignment with Class-A Brooklyn on Monday and went 1- for-3 with a double. Afterwards, he was excited about his prospects for re- joining the big club.

"I expect to play [Tuesday]. Everything is good. I was able to move around in the field with no problem," Reyes said following the game.

In the final year of a contract, the 2011 All-Star is enjoying a banner season, leading the majors with a .354 batting average and 15 triples. He is also second in hits (124) and steals (30).

The Mets should also have Carlos Beltran, the team's leader with 14 homers and 59 RBI, back tonight after he missed the last three games with the flu. He was batting .344 over his last 16 games before getting sick.

The All-Star duo's return will be a welcome sight for a Mets team that has lost five of six after falling 4-1 to the Florida Marlins on Monday.

Chris Capuano (8-9) pitched a solid 7 2/3 frames, giving up four runs on seven hits while fanning five and walking two.

"I think Cappy [Capuano] pitched a good game and kept us in it," Mets manager Terry Collins said of his starter's effort. "We just couldn't get anything going offensively."

Getting the call for the Mets this evening will be right-hander Dillon Gee, who was a pleasant surprise for the team in the first half, going 8-3 with a 3.76 ERA. Gee, though, lost three of his last four starts heading into the break and was hit hard by the Los Angeles Dodgers his last time out, allowing six runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings.

He has never faced the Cardinals.

St. Louis also enters this series reeling a bit after losing two of three to the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend at Great American Ball Park. The Cards dropped Sunday's rubber match, 3-1, to fall for the fifth time in their last eight games.

Jaime Garcia (9-4) allowed a pair of runs over seven frames to absorb the loss.

Tonight, St. Louis will pin its hopes on righty Kyle Lohse, who has lost four of his last five decisions. Lohse had been 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA after beating Colorado on May 29, but has won just one time since and has seen his ERA jump more than a run to 3.32.

Lohse lost to Arizona in his final start before the break, surrendering seven runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. It was the fifth time in his last seven starts that he had allowed at least four runs.

In eight starts against the Mets Lohse is 2-3 with a 5.85 ERA.

This is the first of six meetings between these teams this season.

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