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Playoff-hopeful Cardinals blow big lead to Mets

Sep 23, 2011 - 5:23 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Willie Harris capped a big ninth-inning rally with a two-run single, as the New York Mets beat the Cardinals, 8-6, hampering St. Louis' chances of reaching the postseason.

The Cardinals, who allowed six runs in the ninth inning, fell two games back of the wild card-leading Braves and five behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee with six games to go. Atlanta and Milwaukee were idle Thursday.

"I guess those guys over there [the Braves] are pretty excited about it," Harris said. "But we come here to win no matter what the situation is, and fortunately we were able to come through and get that win today."

St. Louis has three games at home this weekend against the Cubs before finishing the season with three in Houston.

In a contest that was delayed 2-hours, 19-minutes at the start by rain and holding a 6-2 lead in the ninth, the Cardinals sent Jason Motte to the mound to close out the game. Harris walked, Nick Evans reached first on Rafael Furcal's fielding error and pinch-hitter Jason Pridie walked to load the bases with one out. Pinch-hitter Justin Turner also walked to force in a run.

Marc Rzepczynski (0-3) came in from the bullpen and was greeted by Jose Reyes' broken bat RBI single over the head of second baseman Ryan Theriot. Fernando Salas took over on the mound to face Ruben Tejada, who hit a two-run double to left past a diving Shane Robinson. Angel Pagan was intentionally walked to load the bases again. After a David Wright strikeout, Harris stepped to the plate again and hit a two-run single to right for an 8-6 Mets lead.

"I think we're resting them where we can," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "We have [Kyle] McClellan with two days off, he's ready tomorrow. When you screw up, it's not because you're vulnerable, sometimes. Just the other side beats you."

Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect home ninth to snap St. Louis' four-game winning streak, as the Mets avoided a three-game sweep.

Allen Craig's two-run homer in the first inning gave the Cardinals an early lead.

The Mets got one run back in the fifth. Josh Thole and Mike Baxter singled and Reyes walked to load the bases with two outs. Tejada also walked to force in a run.

St. Louis promptly responded with two runs in the home fifth to increase its margin. With two outs, Albert Pujols hit a solo homer to left. Lance Berkman, who signed a one-year contract earlier Thursday, David Freese and Yadier Molina hit three straight singles to plate another run for a 4-1 edge.

The Cardinals tacked on two more runs in the seventh to take a 6-1 lead. Josh Stinson gave up a one-out double to Freese, who scored on Molina's double. Daniel Herrera took over on the mound with a runner on third and two outs. Pinch-hitter Tyler Greene greeted him with an RBI single to left.

The Mets started their comeback with a run in the eighth. Octavio Dotel gave up a one-out single to Tejada, who went to second on center fielder Adron Chambers' fielding error. Tejada advanced to third on a wild pitch and crossed the plate on a passed ball to make it 6-2.

Manny Acosta (4-1) tossed a perfect eighth for the Mets to pick up the win.

Game Notes

The Mets and Cardinals split six games this season...New York was without outfielders Jason Bay (illness) and Lucas Duda (dizziness)...The Mets went 3-3 on their final road trip of the season. New York went 43-38 on the road this year...New York starter Chris Capuano gave up four runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings...Jake Westbrook allowed one run on three hits in a six-inning start for the Cardinals.








  • NEW YORK: 8
    ST. LOUIS: 6
    Final

    Sep 22 7:29 PM


  • Nick Evans flied out to right to end the inning.

    Mets 8, Cardinals 6  Mid 9Sep 22 7:21 PM


  • Ruben Tejada double to left scored Jason Pridie and Justin Turner. On the play, Jose Reyes advances to third. Runners on second and third with one out and Angel Pagan due up.

    Mets 6, Cardinals 6  Top 9, 1 OutSep 22 7:15 PM
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    Mets 6, Cardinals 6  Top 9, 1 OutSep 22 7:13 PM
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    Mets 4, Cardinals 6  Top 9, 1 OutSep 22 7:10 PM


  • Jose Reyes single to center scored Nick Evans. On the play, Justin Turner advances to second and Jason Pridie advances to third. Bases loaded with one out and Ruben Tejada due up.

    Mets 4, Cardinals 6  Top 9, 1 OutSep 22 7:07 PM
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    Mets 4, Cardinals 6  Top 9, 1 OutSep 22 7:07 PM


  • Pinch-Hitter Justin Turner walk scored Willie Harris. Bases loaded with one out and Jose Reyes due up.

    Mets 3, Cardinals 6  Top 9, 1 OutSep 22 7:03 PM


  • Yadier Molina's passed ball scored Ruben Tejeda. None on with one out and Angel Pagan at the plate.

    Mets 2, Cardinals 6  Top 8, 1 OutSep 22 6:39 PM


  • Pinch-Hitter Tyler Greene singled to left scored Yadier Molina. Runner on first with two outs and Arthur Rhodes due up.

    Mets 1, Cardinals 6  Bot 7, 2 OutsSep 22 6:30 PM
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    Mets 1, Cardinals 6  Bot 7, 2 OutsSep 22 6:30 PM


  • Yadier Molina doubled to right scored pinch-runner Daniel Descalso. Runner on second with one out and Ryan Theriot due up.

    Mets 1, Cardinals 5  Bot 7, 1 OutSep 22 6:26 PM


  • Yadier Molina single to left scored Lance Berkman with two out. On the play, David Freese advances to third. Runners on second and third and Ryan Theriot due up.

    Mets 1, Cardinals 4  Bot 5, 2 OutsSep 22 5:45 PM


  • Albert Pujols two-out, solo Home Run (37) to left. Lance Berkman due up.

    Mets 1, Cardinals 3  Bot 5, 2 OutsSep 22 5:39 PM
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    Mets 1, Cardinals 3  Bot 5, 2 OutsSep 22 5:39 PM
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    Mets 1, Cardinals 2  Bot 5, 2 OutsSep 22 5:38 PM


  • Ruben Tejada walked scoring Josh Thole with two out. Bases loaded and Angel Pagan due up.

    Mets 1, Cardinals 2  Top 5, 2 OutsSep 22 5:29 PM
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    Mets 1, Cardinals 2  Top 5, 2 OutsSep 22 5:29 PM
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    Mets 0, Cardinals 2  End 3Sep 22 4:52 PM


  • Allen Craig none-out, two-run Home Run (9) to left scored Rafael Furcal. Albert Pujols due up.

    Mets 0, Cardinals 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 22 4:17 PM


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

    Sep 22 4:05 PM
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    Mets vs. CardinalsMar 31 2:29 PM