Cardinals waste chances, lose to Mets 2-1 in 14
NEW YORK (AP) — Sam Tuivailala missed his spots. John Mayberry Jr.‘s grounder was just a bit too wide for Jhonny Peralta to make a play. St. Louis’ batters failed nearly every time they had an opportunity.
The Cardinals were just a little bit off all Monday night and it cost them with a 2-1 loss to the New York Mets in the opener of a four-game series between division leaders.
“Just a shame we couldn’t figure out a way to get it done,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Pinch hitting against closer Trevor Rosenthal, Mayberry had an RBI infield hit with one out in the bottom of the 14th inning for the winning run.
Lucas Duda beat a shifted, drawn-in infield with an opposite field hit for a run-scoring single off John Lackey in the fourth, but Jason Heyward had a sacrifice fly in the ninth off closer Jeurys Familia as the Mets wasted another 1-0 lead for Matt Harvey.
The division leaders then struck out a combined 12 times in extras before Tuivailala (0-1) walked Eric Campbell and Duda to open the 14th. Rosenthal relived and got Michael Cuddyer to ground into a fielder’s choice. Rosenthal then walked intentionally Daniel Murphy to load the bases.
“Just trying to aim it too much and didn’t have the command,” Tuivailala said. “It led to walks and that’s what lost us the game.”
Mayberry, who entered batting .114, grounded the first pitch off diving drawn-in shortstop Jhonny Peralta’s glove. Campbell slid home ahead of a late throw that stretching catcher Yadier Molina could not reach.
“Sometimes it’s good to have luck on your side,” Mayberry said. “Anyway you can get it done.”
Carlos Torres (2-2) pitched two innings for the NL East-leaders’ third straight win after a five-game skid. The Mets were the last major league team to play extra innings this season.
Heyward doubled with one out in the 14th but reliever Seth Maness had to bat because St. Louis was out of position players. The Central-leading Cardinals didn’t get into New York until after 3 a.m. following their Sunday night game in St. Louis, a 2-1 win.
The Cardinals went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
It was the third consecutive start in which New York gave Harvey one run of support. Harvey outpitched Lackey in a taught duel before giving way to Familia in the ninth.
Familia gave up one out singles to Matt Adams and Molina. Heyward then hit a 245 foot flyball to right field, but Curtis Granderson’s throw was several feet up the third base line and pinch-runner Pete Kozma easily slid home safely. It was Familia’s first blown save in 14 chances.
“Great execution,” Matheny said. “Heyward put together a real tough at-bat to get the run in.”
Harvey gave up six hits and matched a season-high with nine strikeouts in running his scoreless innings streak to 16 and lowering his ERA to 1.98 from 2.31.
“Good pitcher. One of the best in the league right now,” Peralta said. “He is really smart — whatever pitch he wants to throw, he makes it in good spots.”
Lackey, at 36, more crafty than his overpowering opponent who is 10 years his junior, was every bit as good. Facing the Mets for just the third time and first since 2008, when he was with the Angels, Lackey stifled New York for seven efficient innings, allowing three hits and a run.
He held the Mets hitless until Granderson doubled leading off the fourth.
Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (setback from thoracic outlet syndrome) is set to make his first start of season Thursday in the series finale and he had a bullpen session Monday. Manager Mike Matheny didn’t sound too concerned with the results of the ’pen. “He’s in,” Matheny said. “He’ll be ready Thursday.”
Cardinals: St. Louis is 7-0 when RHP Michael Wacha (5-0) starts. In three career starts against New York, Wacha has held the Mets to a .220 batting average.
Mets: Jonathon Niese (3-4) is coming off a difficult outing in which he gave up six runs — four earned — in 6 1-3 innings to the Cubs, boosting his ERA to 2.49. While with Atlanta, Heyward hit .328 (9 for 28) with two homers and eight RBIs against the LHP.
Matheny was getting regular updates Sunday on the progress of former Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller, who lost a no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth inning for the Atlanta Braves. “I can’t just turn it off on any of these guys,” Matheny said. “We preach this family thing, but it’s true. We care about them. It’s hard to just sever that.”