for this game

Cardinals sneak past Mets to avoid sweep

Jun 4, 2012 - 11:20 PM Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - Allen Craig's two-run homer in the eighth lifted the St. Louis Cardinals over the New York Mets, 5-4, in the finale of a four-game set at Citi Field.

Craig finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored to help the Cardinals avoid the four-game sweep. Matt Holiday went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored and Rafael Furcal drove in a run for St. Louis, which halted a five-game skid.

Marc Rzepczynski (1-3) took the win after throwing one inning of relief. Kyle Lohse started the game and gave up one run on two hits while striking out three over six frames.

"It was a big win for us to get out of here and avoid the sweep," Lohse said. "Obviously I would like to get more wins than I've been getting lately, but there is nothing you can do about that. That's the way it worked out."

Jason Motte earned his ninth save of the year after throwing 1 1/3 perfect innings.

Scott Hairston hit a two-run homer and Lucas Duda had a solo homer for the Mets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Jon Rauch (3-5) was pegged with the loss after giving up Craig's homer. Dillon Gee started for New York and gave up three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and fanned eight over seven frames.

Craig's two-run blast in the eighth put the Cardinals ahead 5-3. Holiday singled and Craig followed two hitters later with his sixth homer of the year.

"I was just trying to drive the ball, the pitch was a little up," Craig said. "I was trying to stay simple and I got a really good pitch to hit."

The Mets got one run back in the bottom of the frame to make it 5-4. Jason Thole singled, moved to third when Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled and scored on Andres Torres' sacrifice fly to right.

It wouldn't be enough, however, as Motte entered the game. After getting David Wright to line out to end the eighth, Motte retired the side in order in the ninth.

The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Holiday roped a double to left then scored when Craig slapped one over the bag at first for a single.

But Duda's solo shot in the home half knotted it up at 1-1. It was Duda's ninth of the year.

St. Louis pushed two across in the seventh to go ahead 3-1. Craig walked then moved to third when David Freese singled to left-center. Daniel Descalso then tapped one back to the pitcher, but Gee's throw short-hopped Omar Quintanilla to allow Craig to score. Ardon Chambers followed with a single to load the bases for Furcal, who grounded into a fielder's choice that plated Freese.

Hairston clobbered a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the home half to even the game at 3-3. Wright opened the frame with a single before Hairston belted the 3-2 slider deep into the left-field stands for his seventh homer of the season.

"It doesn't matter if we get blown out or blow someone else out, if we come back the next day and know it's a whole new ball game," Gee said. "That's the mind set we have and if we play like that each day, one at a time, you never know what could happen at the end of the year."

Game Notes

The Cardinals had just one run in the series entering Monday's game...St. Louis will travel to Houston on Tuesday to begin a three-game set with the Astros...Lohse is 0-4 lifetime in six career starts in New York...Wright scored his 735th run tying him with former-Met Jose Reyes for first on the team's all-time list...The Mets have never swept the Cardinals in a four-game series in New York.