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Cardinals down Mets to avoid sweep

Jul 21, 2011 - 9:10 PM 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.

Game Notes

St. Louis infielder Ryan Theriot had his suspension reduced from two games to one after dropping his appeal. Theriot served the one-game ban on Thursday...The last time the Mets swept the Cardinals in a three-game series was April 1-4, 2007 at St. Louis...Westbrook hasn't lost since June 12 at Milwaukee.

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    Cardinals 6, Mets 2  FinalJul 22 4:52 PM

  • ST. LOUIS: 6
    NEW YORK: 2

    Jul 21 2:21 PM

  • Pinch-Hitter Skip Schumaker singled to center scored Yadier Molina. On the play, Daniel Descalso advances to third. Runners on first and third with two outs and Nick Punto due up.

    Cardinals 6, Mets 2  Top 9, 2 OutsJul 21 2:08 PM

  • Jason Pridie singled to left center scored Lucas Duda.. Runner on first with two outs and D.J. Carrasco due up.

    Cardinals 5, Mets 2  Bot 8, 2 OutsJul 21 1:56 PM

  • Jon Jay singled to center scored Jake Westbrook. Angel Pagan's throwing error scored Nick Punto. Runner on second with one out and Albert Pujols due up.

    Cardinals 5, Mets 1  Top 5, 1 OutJul 21 1:11 PM

  • Nick Punto reached first on Lucas Duda's throwing error scored Daniel Descalso. On the play, Jake Westbrook advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and Jon Jay due up.

    Cardinals 3, Mets 1  Top 5, 1 OutJul 21 1:08 PM
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    Cardinals 2, Mets 1  End 4Jul 21 1:03 PM

  • Justin Turner grounded out short to first scored Jose Reyes. None on with one out and Carlos Beltran due up.

    Cardinals 2, Mets 1  Bot 4, 1 OutJul 21 1:00 PM

  • Albert Pujols one-out, two-run Home Run (21) to left scored Jon Jay. Matt Holliday due up.

    Cardinals 2, Mets 0  Top 1, 1 OutJul 21 12:21 PM

  • ST. LOUIS: 0
    NEW YORK: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jul 21 12:12 PM
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    Cardinals vs. MetsJul 21 6:57 AM
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    Cardinals vs. MetsMar 31 2:29 PM