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.
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.